2013 Chicago Bears free agents: Why Urlacher stays
The Chicago Bears have undergone a serious facelift with all the changes amongst their coaching staff this offseason. Typically in the NFL when an organization makes such a drastic shuffle in leadership, major roster changes are soon to follow as the new head coach wants “his guys” on the field. That won’t necessarily be the case for Chicago as the Bears finished the season with 10 wins, just shy of making the playoffs.
Looking ahead to 2013 it appears as if the Bears will again field a competitive team despite the possibility of a high roster turnover given their 20 free agents who may choose to play elsewhere based on their loyalty to Lovie Smith.
In alphabetical order here are the 20 free agents in 2013 on the Bears: • Kahlil Bell, RB • Zack Bowman, CB • Jason Campbell, QB • Kelvin Hayden, CB • Geno Hayes, LB • Israel Idonije, DL • Lance Louis, G • Olindo Mare, K • Josh McCown, QB • Henry Melton, DT • D.J. Moore, DB • Troy Nolan, S • Amobi Okoye, DT • Chilo Rachal, G • Jonathan Scott, T • Chris Spencer, G • Brian Urlacher, LB • Nate Collins, DT • Armando Allen, RB
Of the 20 free agents for the Bears, Collins is a restricted
free agent and Allen is an exclusive-rights free agent. Where most of the 20 names listed may not be back with the Bears next season, there is one name the team can’t afford to let go. Brian Urlacher.
Despite the fact that Urlacher will turn 35 prior to the start of next season, has had limited durability and production over the past few seasons and has become negatively outspoken as of late, the Chicago Bears can’t afford to let him go just yet. Urlacher is the face of the Bears franchise and his presence in the locker room and on the practice field will be monumental to Mel Tucker as he takes over this veteran defense. If Urlacher walks, look for the spirit and camaraderie of the Bears locker room to follow. And if that happens, it will be time to blow the whole thing up. For those reasons, expect No. 54 to remain a Bear, at least for another year.
Follow Aaron on Twitter @Da_Bear_Truth.