In an interview with a Chicago radio station, the All-Pro middle linebacker said this, via the Chicago Tribune.
I think (team president) Ted Phillips said when they had the owners meeting they're gonna wait until the season is over. See what happens, how I play (before addressing the contract situation). It's kind of exciting. I've never been a free agent. So if I can get to free agency we'll see what happens. I no doubt want to finish my career here. There's no doubt about that. But you bring in free agency and all that you just never know what's gonna happen.
Urlacher has spent the last 12 seasons as the heart and soul of the Bears defense. He has 1,285 career tackles in the regular season. He has been selected to eight Pro Bowls and five All-Pro teams.
He has played in all 16 games in every season of his career except 2005 and 2009. In every season he has stayed healthy, he has finished with over 100 tackles.
Urlacher is a future Hall of Famer, and I could go on and on about his accolades. The Bears defense is completely different with him in the lineup, and team would be idiotic to let the 34-year-old test the free-agency market.
The Chicago front office is already locked in contentious negotiations with star running back Matt Forte, who has not reported to the team’s OTAs. Forte has been franchised tagged and is under contract for at least one more year.
The Bears are headed towards a sticky situation where their best offensive player and their best defensive player will become free agents in the same season.
These quotes may be a ploy by Urlacher in hopes that the Bears reach out to him with an offer to extend his deal. If it isn’t, and the Bears are actually willing to let him walk, then Urlacher deserves better.
Either way, Urlacher is doing the right thing by publicly considering free agency.