Brian Urlacher retired from professional football earlier this week, ending his 13 year NFL career. All 13 of the seasons were played with the Chicago Bears.
People have praised Urlacher all week long for him being loyal to one team for his entire career. But is this really the case? Was Urlacher really faithful to the Chicago Bears to the bitter end?
No, Urlacher tried and tried to get an NFL deal from teams around the league but no one would give him the offer that he wanted. Urlacher told the media multiple times that he had talked to other teams since becoming a free agent at the end of last season. Now, if you really were faithful to one team, would you go around trying to get offers from other teams? Especially when the rumors were that Urlacher was talking to teams inside of Chicago’s division.
The only reason that Urlacher retired was because he wasn’t going to sign with an NFL team for the upcoming season. Urlacher even said that if Dallas were to offer him a deal that he would take it. So all of the hoopla surrounding the Urlacher being a bear for life is just ridiculous, plain and simple.
Urlacher took a major blow to his ego a couple months ago when the Chicago Bears made it evident that they were not interested in bringing him back for the next season. And honestly, the shouldn’t have. There comes a point where you turn from being a great player, to a liability. That is what Urlacher did during his last couple years. Urlacher was the best linebacker in the league for a lot of years, but over the last couple seasons father time caught up to him and he became the problem more than the fix. And there is nothing wrong with that, it is the cycle of life in the NFL.
There are some players that would live and die by the jersey that they wear. Brian Urlacher is not in that group. Derek Jeter, Tim Duncan and Ray Lewis are in that group. Some people put on a front of being loyal while others actually are loyal. Teammates of Urlacher claim for him to be the ultimate team player, but would they have changed their tune if he were to go to a division rival like he probably would have done if the option presented itself?
What Urlacher did is comparable to going to a club and throwing yourself at a girl while you are married. After, trying so hard to get with that girl all night, she leaves with another dude. So you go back home and tell your wife how much you love her. Does that really count at night when you tell your wife how much you love her?
You can celebrate Brian Urlacher for being a great player in the NFL, but don’t celebrate him for being a loyal Bear. Because that, he was not.