Since 2000 the one constant in the Bears defense was Brian Urlacher. Until now. Unable to agree to terms the Chicago Bears and Brian Urlacher have agreed to part ways. For many years he was the heart and soul of the defense. Now the defense will have a different look going into the 2013 season. In a report stated by Yahoo sports, the Bears released the following statement:
“We were unable to reach an agreement with Brian and both sides have decided to move forward,” general manager Phil Emery said in a statement released by the team. “Brian has been an elite player in our league for over a decade. He showed great leadership and helped develop a winning culture over his time with the Bears. We appreciate all he has given our team, on and off the field. Brian will always be welcome as a member of the Bears.”
“Over the last 13 years, Brian Urlacher has been an outstanding player, teammate, leader and face of our franchise,” said Bears chairman George H. McCaskey. “As Bears fans, we have been lucky to have such a humble superstar represent our city. He embodies the same characteristics displayed by the Bears all-time greats who played before him and he will eventually join many of them in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. We thank Brian for all he has given our team and our city. He will always be a part of the Bears family. We wish him the very best.”
With the Bears moving on without Urlacher, and losing versatile backup Nick Roach to the Oakland Raiders in free agency, Blake Costanzo, one of the best special teams players in the league, is penciled in as the starting middle linebacker.