Legendary Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher has decided to retire after 13 seasons in the NFL.
Urlacher made the announcement on his Twitter page, but NFP's Brad Biggs, reporting for the Chicago Tribune, has statements from the linebacker on his decision to end his playing days. One of the main factors was the free agent's desire not to play elsewhere after spending 13 seasons 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.”
Appearing Wednesday on radio on the Dan Patrick Show, Urlacher said his body was telling him it was time to retire and that he didn't want to wear another jersey.
“I decided I didn't want to play for anybody else,” Urlacher said. “I still have a ton of respect for the Bears. It didn’t work out the way I wanted it to, but I played 13 years for one of the best franchises in NFL history. I’m very proud of that, and I'm happy I won't have to wear another jersey.”
Urlacher is the latest in a long tradition of star linebackers who have spent their careers in Chicago. That list is headlined by Hall of Famers Dick Butkus and Mike Singletary. Urlacher likely will have a spot waiting for him in Canton as well.
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Terry McCormick covers the Titans for TitanInsider.com