After 13 years in the NFL as one of the most dominant middle linebackers in the history of the game, former Chicago Bears star Brian Urlacher has retired from the league, according to his Twitter account:
The veteran was a staple of the Bears defense for years and one of the most feared players to ever step onto a football field. With unwavering passion, it was clear from Urlacher’s statement that he didn’t believe he had the same drive he regularly displayed throughout his shining career (h/t ESPN's Kevin Seifert):
Although Urlacher struggled at times during the last few years of his career, he will mostly be regarded for his consistency in his prime that helped him earn eight Pro Bowl selections and the 2005 AP Defensive Player of the Year award.
Hall of Fame defensive tackle Warren Sapp came out in support of his defensive brethren:
ESPN’s Mike Greenberg believes Urlacher deserves to be enshrined in Canton:
As one of the most feared men in football for the better part of a decade, Matt Murschel of the Sun Sentinel talked about how Urlacher embodied Chicago’s spirit:
Urlacher’s numbers are incredible, as ESPN Chicago’s Michael C. Wright pointed out:
As hard as it will be to see Urlacher walk away from football, Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller talked about why this retirement hurts even more this year:
CSN Chicago's Pat Boyle mentioned the dilemma facing Hall of Fame voters in the future:
Bleacher Report lead writer Adam Kramer touched on Urlacher's incredible college career:
While the sports world is sad today, Faux John Madden reminded us all that we need to laugh a bit and appreciate the legendary career of Urlacher:
The Arizona Cardinals also got in on the fun, giving Urlacher a sendoff worthy of Denny Green.
Urlacher racked up 1,353 combined tackles, 41.5 sacks, 12 forced fumbles, 22 interceptions and two defensive touchdowns during his tenure in Chicago, and while those numbers are impressive, it’s the legacy he left on the NFL for which he will be remembered.
The NFL will feel odd this year without Urlacher on the field.