Indianapolis Colts Signing Brian Urlacher Is a Far-Fetched Possibility

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Indianapolis Colts Signing Brian Urlacher Is a Far-Fetched Possibility
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Middle linebacker Brian Urlacher was an eight-time Pro Bowl selection and 2005 NFL Defensive Player of the Year with the Chicago Bears.

Ever imagined Brian Urlacher in an Indianapolis Colts jersey? 

Not likely to happen. 

Urlacher, an eight-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker, parted ways with the Chicago Bears last Wednesday, March 20an event that was labeled by the team as a "mutual decision," as reported by Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune

The report reiterates that Urlacher and his agents, Pat Dye Jr. and Bill Johnson, initially sought out a two-year, $11.5 million contract. The Bears countered with a one-year deal worth $2 million.

Said Urlacher of the Bears' offer:

It wasn't even an offer, it was an ultimatum. I feel like I'm a decent football player still. It was insulting, somewhat of a slap in the face.

Signing up with the Colts is a very remote possibility because of the emergence of Jerrell Freeman. Freeman, whom GM Ryan Grigson lured away from the Canadian Football League, made quite an impact in his first season with the Colts. He had 145 tackles (good for fifth in the NFL), two sacks, one forced fumble and one interception.

The lone interception he had in 2012 came when he picked off Urlacher's then-teammate, quarterback Jay Cutler, for a touchdown in the Colts' 41-21 loss to the Bears on September 9.

Looking to solidify the middle linebacker position for Indy is Pat Angerer, who saw his total tackle count drop from 148 in 2011 to 28 in 2012 due to a broken right foot he sustained in last season's preseason opener. Kavell Conner is also looking to pick up the slack after recording a career-low 54 total tackles last season. 

ESPN's John Clayton reports Brian Urlacher and the Chicago Bears were unable to reach an agreement.

The Colts are looking to shore up their defense in 2013 with younger acquisitions. New additions tp the defense include Ricky Jean-Francois at defensive tackle, LaRon Landry at strong safety, Lawrence Sidbury and Erik Walden at outside linebacker and Greg Toler at cornerback. None of them is older than 28.

The only exception so far is 32-year-old nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin, who signed with Indy on March 19 and figures to play a key role in Coach Chuck Pagano's 3-4 defensive scheme. 

More specifically for the linebacker position, it seems pretty clear Grigson and Co. want younger legs in the fold next season. Thirty-three-year-old Dwight Freeney, who was once one of the fastest and most fearsome pass-rushers in the NFL, was not re-signed by Indianapolis on February 15. A seasoned defensive end, he played linebacker for the first time in his career in 2012.

Freeman, Angerer and Kavell Conner at inside linebacker are all 26. The Colts' outside linebackers are all under 30, with the exception of Robert Mathis, who is 32. 

The Chicago Tribune report also mentions that Urlacher has worked too hard this offseason to consider retirement. He's out to prove he's still got something left in the tank after an MCL injury in the latter part of the 2011 season hampered his performance in 2012. 

However, Urlacher turns 35 in May. His veteran presence is definitely invaluable, but this is not the direction the Colts are taking at the linebacker position. 

Finally, there is the issue of the salary cap. As of March 15, Paul Kuharsky of ESPN reports the Colts have around $10.181 million remaining in salary-cap room. Three days later, Indy signed backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck to a two-year contract reportedly worth $8 million, as reported by the NFL's official website, further dwindling the remaining salary-cap space. 

Throw in owner Jim Irsay's infatuation with a still unnamed wide receiver on Twitter, and there will be virtually little room for Urlacher on board.

Urlacher and his team reportedly countered the Bears' one-year offer with a one-year deal worth $3.5 million, as mentioned in the Chicago Tribune column—a difference of around $4 million from his 2012 salary. In spite of him willing to take a significant cut in pay, do not look for the Indianapolis Colts to tender an offer his way.

That being said, the legend of Brian Urlacher is sure to continue somewhere else.   

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