Brian Urlacher announced his official retirement today: Here are five fast facts you need to know.
1.Urlacher Leaves Football After 13 years
After parting ways with the Chicago Bears two months ago, Brian Urlacher announces his official retirement from football after playing middle linebacker for thirteen years. CBS Sports reports that the New Mexico native wasn't confident he could continue to play at a strong level and wanted to end his career on a high note.
2.Urlacher Had An Impressive Career
After an All-American season at the University of New Mexico, Urlacher was the ninth-overall draft pick for the Bears in 2000. He became one of the most decorated athletes in the league getting elected to eight Pro Bowls and winning Defensive Player of the year in 2005.
3.Injuries Piled Up Despite Contract Renewals
Like most players, various injuries affected the middle linebacker during seasons. In 2007, an arthritic back problems left him out for the season, while a dislocated wrist against the Packers in the season opener left him out for the 2009 campaign. Regardless, the Bears leadership renewed his contract in 2007 with a 6 million signing bonus and pay increases every following year.
4. The Bears Franchise is Legendary
While #54 was part of the incredible run up to Super Bowl XLI, the Chicago Bears have had many reputable players retire after leaving a mark on the sport and taking their place in the Hall of Fame. Two notable mentions from the team include Mike Ditka — who is one of the only two people in the NFL to win a title as a player, assistant coach and head coach — as well as Richard Dent, Super Bowl XX MVP and Ditka's rival.
5.Urlacher's Hall of Fame Status is Questionable
While the middle linebacker has definitely been an important part of the Bear's organization, his Hall of Fame status is questionable. He has held a great reputation during his tenure in the league and gained considerable accomplishments, but he's had his fair share of critics. Regardless, he was a great player who served as a strong part of the Bear's defense.