Poised to reach free agency for the first time in his 13-year career, linebacker Brian Urlacher "for sure" plans to play in 2013. Backing off an earlier suggestion that he would only play for former Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith, Urlacher said Tuesday he's willing to take a hometown discount in order to remain with the Bears.
"When you look at my age and everything, it's going to be hard to not give them a discount," Urlacher said on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on WMVP-AM, according to the Chicago Tribune. "I'm not going to make what I was making in the past, how about that? Does that make sense? That's fair."
Bears general manager Phil Emery and head coach Marc Trestman have been evasive when pressed about Urlacher's future. The eight-time Pro Bowler understands the team's front office has "more important things to take care of right now" and isn't concerned that his contract hasn't been addressed.
Similar to Smith, new defensive coordinator Mel Tucker runs a 4-3, Cover-2 style defense. That factor should increase the odds of Urlacher returning at a discounted rate after a disappointing season ravaged by knee and hamstring injuries. The Bears lack a young, run-stuffing middle linebacker in the pipeline.
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