GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Sports

May 24, 2013

LB Urlacher announces his retirement

CHICAGO (AP) — Brian Urlacher wasn’t sure how dominant he could be any longer, so he’s calling it a career after 13 seasons with the Chicago Bears.

And what a career it was:

—Eight Pro Bowl seasons;

—Defensive Player of the Year in 2005

—A trip to the Super Bowl as 2006 NFC champion.

And now, it’s over. The eight-time Pro Bowler announced his retirement through social media accounts Wednesday.

“After spending a lot of time this spring thinking about my NFL future, I have made a decision to retire,” Urlacher said in a statement. “Although I could continue playing, I’m not sure I would bring a level of performance or passion that’s up to my standards. When considering this, along with the fact that I could retire after a 13-year career wearing only one jersey for such a storied franchise, my decision became pretty clear.

“I want to thank all of the people in my life that have helped me along the way. I will miss my teammates, my coaches and the great Bears fans. I’m proud to say that I gave all of you everything I had every time I took the field. I will miss this great game, but I leave it with no regrets.”

Urlacher was the face of the Bears, and he ranks among the best middle linebackers to suit up for a franchise with an impressive list that includes Hall of Famers Bill George, Dick Butkus and Mike Singletary.

In March, Urlacher and the Bears were unable to reach a contract agreement and he became a free agent.

“In the pantheon of Bears, Brian has earned his place alongside Halas, Grange, Nagurski, Ditka, Payton — and yes, Bill George, Butkus and Singletary,” Bears chairman George McCaskey said. “We congratulate Brian on a brilliant career and he will continue to be a welcomed member of the Bears Family in retirement.”

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