Brian Urlacher has been discussing a new contract with the Chicago Bearsfor weeks, but those talks have been fruitless to date.
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The free-agent linebacker's camp reportedly has been led to believe there's no "prevailing sense of urgency" on the Bears' side. That being the case, Urlacher's agents have touched base with the NFC North rival Minnesota Vikings, the Chicago Tribune reported Wednesday.
Set to lose middle linebacker Jasper Brinkley, the Vikings merely are "monitoring" Urlacher's situation at this point, according to the report. They reportedly aren't the only teams keeping tabs on the eight-time Pro Bowl selection. The Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals also have "some level of interest," according to the Tribune.
Credit Urlacher's agents for beating the bushes to drum up interest in a player who lost several steps in 2012, but we don't see any team coming close to satisfying his reported goal of a deal in the range of the $5.5 million that Ray Lewis earned last season with the Baltimore Ravens.
Bears general manager Phil Emery insists the contract talks are ongoing even though he hasn't responded to Urlacher's latest proposal. We still expect the probable Hall of Famer to return to Chicago once his asking price drops.
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UPDATE: Emery told reporters Wednesday that Urlacher remains a player the Bears want, but there are salary-cap concerns complicating any move.
"We are up against the cap," Emery said, via The Associated Press. "So, we are going to have to be very slow and methodical and make sure that every decision that we make is going to be in the best interest of our team moving forward in terms of putting the best players on the field to win. It is going to have to be slow because every dollar is going to count against the cap, and we are up tight against the cap."