Nov 4, 2012; Nashville, TN, USA; Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher (54) awaits the snap against the Tennessee Titans during the first half at LP Field. The Bears beat the Titans 51-20. Mandatory credit: Don McPeak-US Presswire

Brian Urlacher Ends Vikings Speculation By Retiring


Brian Urlacher is likely no longer an option for the Vikings at middle linebacker. On Thursday the life-long Bears linebacker announced his retirement from the NFL, ending a long and distinguished career. Urlacher said in a statement:

After spending a lot of time this spring thinking about my NFL future, I have made a decision to retire. 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 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 regret.

I say “is likely no longer an option” for reasons that should be obvious to anyone who followed the career of one Brett Favre. Retirement isn’t always as permanent as we are led to believe.

But of course there is no reason for us to assume that Urlacher is going to pull some Favre-like retirement do-over. It’s likely this really is the end for Urlacher who battled physical problems the last couple years of his career and overall just wasn’t the same player as during his grand and glorious prime.

At his best, #54 was a worthy successor to the great Bears middle linebacker tradition. It started with Dick Butkus, it continued with Mike Singletary and it carried on with Urlacher. And now it will carry on again with someone I don’t think I’ve ever heard of.

As for the Vikings? Erin Henderson is the middle linebacker today. And Urlacher is apparently no longer available as a fallback option. How is E.J. Henderson feeling these days? Has anyone called him lately? He’s well-rested.

To be serious for a second. Congrats to Brian Urlacher on a great career. It would have been a gas to see him in Vikings purple but it wasn’t in the cards. Enjoy retirement Urlacher. Oh and don’t lose your phone, okay bud? Cause as we learned from Favre…you just never know.

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