|This could be Urlacher's final year in Chicago. (US Presswire)|
That's what he implied Friday when he said he would consider testing out the free agent market after the 2012 season.
"I think (team president) Ted Phillips said when they had the owners meeting they're gonna wait until the season is over. See what happens, how I play (before addressing the contract situation)," Urlacher told WMVP-AM 1000, via the Chicago Tribune. "It's kind of exciting. I've never been a free agent. So if I can get to free agency we'll see what happens.
"I no doubt want to finish my career here. There's no doubt about that. But you bring in free agency and all that you just never know what's gonna happen."
So, he's saying that he wants to stay in Chicago but that, somehow, unwanted forces could force him to leave the place he's spent his entire 12-year career. You know, it sounds like this problem could be thwarted by the Bears giving him an extension -- even if it's a short, relatively inexpensive one --before he hits free agency, but it doesn't sound like that's going to happen at this point (and I'm not sure the Bears should either, considering Urlacher is 34 years old and is coming off a major knee problem).
Besides, he'll make $8 million in the final season of his five-year, $40.6 million contract, and there's not much of a chance he'll cash in that heavily again. In Chicago or anywhere else.
"The Bears know I want to be here. I've told them that,” Urlacher said. “I've said it publicly, and that's not gonna change," he said. "Whatever happens during the season or after the season, we'll address it then. But they know I want to be here, and I think they want me here.”
Maybe, maybe not. I guess Urlacher will find out after the 2012 season.
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