Being cut came as a surprise to Urlacher as the Bears sent out a news release on Wednesday stating that the two parties had mutually parted ways. Urlacher made it clear that this was not the case.
"It wasn't even an offer, it was an ultimatum," Urlacher told the Chicago Tribune. "I feel like I'm a decent football player still. It was insulting, somewhat of a slap in the face. They came back with the offer and said, 'This is what it is, take it or leave it.' It was, 'If you want to play for the Bears, you'll play for this. If not, then you're not playing for the Bears.'"
The Bears original offer was a firm one-year contract for $2 million, Urlacher and his agent countered a two-year deal for $11.5 million. Urlacher was under the assumption the two parties would reach a deal somewhere in the middle, turns out there wouldn't be any negotiations. Urlacher's agents responded with a proposal of one year and $3.5 million deal, though the Bears management still wouldn't budge.
Urlacher has spent his entire all 13 NFL seasons as a Chicago Bear, he will be a free agent for the first time in his career. He turns 35 in May and is widely considered as one of the best middle linebackers playing the game today. Although he stands to make even more money and/or even play for a Super Bowl contender, Urlacher expressed his desire to stay in the Windy City.
"I wanted to be here," Urlacher said. "I wanted to be in Chicago. I wanted to finish here. Now, it's not possible."