Although I recently posted that Bears fans were ready to see Urlacher go, that hasn't lined up with their attitudes now that he's actually gone.
In 13 hours since the story posted, it has generated 394 comments by 232 people over 186 threads:
- 106, or 54% posted that this is a bad move or at least, not classy on the Bears' part.
- 92, or 46% posted that this is a good move/it was time/Urlacher is a jerk/greedy/sucks.
- 17 just posted a "so long, farewell" message.
- 17 had miscellaneous messages, e.g. Bears suck, NFL sucks, what about the armed forces, some jokes, etc.
This story has more comments than any I've seen, and that stands to reason when the Bears part ways with a 13-year face of the franchise who wasn't ready to leave.
My own take here is I'm fine with the decision but not how the Bears handled it. If the Bears offered Urlacher a $2MM take-it-or-leave-it offer, t's hard to believe the Bears were ever serious about signing him. If they were, they would have at least negotiated by giving in a little. So if they weren't serious about signing him, I don't think they should have bothered with the charade, the song-and-dance. You don't treat a respected veteran player like that, let alone the face of the franchise for 13 years. I probably would have offered him $3Mm and seen if he took it. If he didn't take that then I'd say, oh well, see ya.
Will this come back to bite the Bears? I highly doubt it. I'd be surprised if Urlacher has any kind of great year, even if he had returned to the Bears. As for other players and how they view the franchise, everyone in the NFL knows it's a tough business where tough decisions get made. Professionals won't let that sort of thing bother them.
Brian Urlacher is one of my all-time favorite Bears and I wish him luck. He might or might not be a greedy jerk but he gave the Bears and the city all he had for 13 years. I hope it all works out for him, whatever that means at this point.
More to come...