Brian Urlacher, the longtime Chicago Bears linebacker who retired in May, is in advanced negotiations with Fox Sports and is expected to join the network in the coming days, multiple sources tell The Big Lead.
[UPDATE: The deal is done, according to a source, and Fox could announce Urlacher’s signing as early as tomorrow.]
A source said Urlacher, an 8-time Pro Bowler, was heavily courted by the NFL Network, but choose Fox instead. Urlacher will be part of the Fox Football Daily on Fox Sports 1, joining Curt Menefee, Jay Glazer, Ronde Barber and others. The show will go head-to-head against ESPN’s Sportscenter at 6 pm EST beginning August 19th.
Urlacher’s agent at William Morris couldn’t be reached for comment. A Fox Sports spokesman didn’t return a text message seeking comment.
Brian Urlacher, former Chicago Bears All-Pro linebacker, announced his retirement from the NFL via Twitter on Wednesday, three days shy of his 35th birthday.
Urlacher was an unsigned free agent but spent his entire career in Chicago and retires as a Bear.
“After spending a lot of time this spring thinking about my NFL future, I have made a decision to retire,” Urlacher wrote in a statement.
“Although I could continue playing, I’m not sure I would bring a level of performance or passion that’s up to my standards. When considering this, along with the fact that I could retire after a 13-year career wearing only one jersey for such a storied franchise, my decision became pretty clear. I want to thank all of the people in my life that have helped me along the way. I will miss my teammates, my coaches and the great Bears fans. I’m proud to say that I gave all of you everything I had every time I took the field. I will miss this great game, but I leave it with no regrets.”
You guys have a good one.
Lance Briggs’ response to reporters when asked how he felt about Brian Urlacher not finding work in the NFL.
I am definitely not surprised. I kind of had this feeling this whole offseason with the way the whole thing was being handled. The number one thing is my teammates. I am going to miss them the most.
Now former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher speaking up regarding his official departure from the team.
The Bears offered Urlacher a $1-2 million contract which he turned down. The team and him have officially parted ways after over a decade. Sad day.
(Brian Urlacher) has been an outstanding player for us, a great team leader, the face of the franchise. He’s going to be inducted in the Hall of Fame. In a perfect world, he would wear a Bears uniform until he’s finished playing. But unfortunately that’s not the way it always is today.
Bears chairman George McCaskey regarding Urlacher’s current limbo state with the team.
The Bears have re-signed:
The Bears have released:
Former Bears who have found new homes are:
As of this time the Bears are absurdly thin at linebacker but with cap space perilous and Brian Urlacher’s contract talks still ongoing you’d think the team would make it a very high priority going into the draft.
GM Phil Emery could still swing a move at any time, but I wouldn’t expect anything until the preseason. With glaring holes at guard and linebacker I would also fully expect the Bears to trade down from their 20th overall pick.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Bears and Urlacher are engaged in ongoing discussions aimed at extending a career that began in Chicago 13 years ago, via the first round of the draft.
In 2009, the Cowboys opted not to make a play for Lewis. Not coincidentally, they’ve had no real leadership on defense since then. If Urlacher gets to market, it would be wise for the Cowboys to make a run at him — especially since Dallas is installing a 4-3 defense.
Still, Urlacher is more important to the Bears that any other team. Even with a new coaching staff, “Urlacher” and “Bears” are synonymous.
Brian Urlacher regarding his induction into the University of New Mexico Hall of Fame:
“I always love coming back here. This is my home. I’m always proud to say I’m from New Mexico,” Urlacher said. “Coach Fran recruited me to New Mexico offering me a scholarship I’m really glad he did cause it worked out good for me here and coach Rocky Long I played my last two years here at UNM and he just allowed me to be a football player no a linebacker or a position player or a safety he just let me play football.”