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Bears end talks with Urlacher

inebacker says offer was slap in face

Published: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 11:48 p.m. CDT
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(Marcio Jose Sanchez)
AP The Bears announced on Wednesday that would not pursue a deal to bring veteran linebacker Brian Urlacher back to the team for the 2013 season.

Brian Urlacher wanted to finish his career with the Chicago Bears. He didn’t believe he was asking management for too much money when the team decided to cut ties with him Wednesday.

Urlacher’s agent originally approached the Bears seeking a 2-year deal worth $11.5 million. The thought was to aim high initially and reach a middle ground through negotiations.

The Bears apparently wouldn't budge on their offer of a 1-year contract worth a maximum value of $2 million.

"It wasn’t even an offer, it was an ultimatum," Urlacher said. "I feel like I’m a decent football player still. It was insulting, somewhat of a slap in the face.

"They came back with the offer and said, 'This is what it is, take it or leave it. It was, 'If you want to play for the Bears, you’ll play for this. If not, then you’re not playing for the Bears.' "

Urlacher said he was willing to play for $3.5 million or even $3 million had the Bears been willing to keep negotiations ongoing.

"I want to be here," Urlacher said. "I wanted to be in Chicago. I wanted to finish here. Now that’s not possible.

"This whole offseason, I had a bad feeling about this situation anyway. I just wish they would have said, `We don’t want you back.’  I think this whole thing is just about them saving face and trying to say that they made a run at me. That’s what I think it is."

Urlacher has no plans to retire and continues to explore his options. He has been in contact with numerous teams.

Despite the low offer and the team's decision to move in another direction, Urlacher vowed not to be bitter over the situation.

"There are no hard feelings between me and the Bears organization," Urlacher said. "I had a great run here. I'm going to miss the [heck] out of my teammates."

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