Olin Kreutz is seriously considering retiring from the NFL two days after he turned down an ultimatum from the Chicago Bears – accept a $4 million, one-year contract or they move on.
Kreutz declined the offer and told the Chicago Tribune his decision didn’t come down to the money, but the way the process was handled when a 13-year veteran who has been selected to six Pro Bowl teams is backed into a corner. The Bears had offered $4 million and although Kreutz was seeking $4.5 million, it wasn’t the dollars that did in the situation and sent the team off to sign Seattle Seahawks cast-off Chris Spencer.
“It felt like maybe it was time to move on. I just got that feeling,” Kreutz said. “I have enough money. So the offer wasn't a big hurdle for me. It was a feel I had, just maybe they wanted to move on no matter what the offer was.
"I don't want to taint anyone. Both sides have won since I've been here. They've treated me good and I think I've played my ass off for them. I know negotiations are never pretty. Things are said and you can't take them personal, but you do get kind of a feel for where people stand and I just didn't get the right feel for it."
Kreutz made 183 starts for the Bears – one less than Walter Payton’s franchise record – and missed only one game in the last decade. Other opportunities could come, and no one will offer him that much money, but it might take the perfect fit for him to play another down in the NFL. The third-round pick from 1998 might just move quietly back to Hawaii.
"I am sure I will have an opportunity," Kreutz. "I am just not sure if I want to play for anyone else. Retirement is definitely an option.
"Upset isn't the word. Surprised it happened. Surprised it went down that way. We all have to make decisions."
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune
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