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Emery: Urlacher ‘Will Never Be Slighted As A Bear’

Brian Urlacher. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Brian Urlacher. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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(CBS) It’s still very unclear what the Bears’ plans are for Brian Urlacher, who is a free agent, but general manager Phil Emery insists the situation will be handled with respect.

“If people are feeling he is slighted, it certainly isn’t coming from me because I have great respect for Brian first as a player,” Emery said at the NFL Combine Thursday. “Where this ends up, we’ll work through with Brian. That will be a private matter. When we come to a resolution, we’ll let you know. Just know he’ll never be slighted. I have too much respect for him.”

Emery said he will be sitting down with both Urlacher and his agents, although he didn’t say when that would happen. NFL free agency starts March 12.

While the Bears’ regime has almost completely changed in the last year, the second-year general manager insists he still has a connection with Urlacher.

“I was here when he was drafted. I do have a connection that way,” Emery said. “I was in those discussions when we took Brian Urlacher. I have tremendous respect for Brian Urlacher and he will never be slighted as a Bear, whether he’s here for an extended number of years or whether this is the end of his career as a player for the Bears. He will always be respected.”

New head coach Marc Trestman also weighed in on the topic, but did not give any indication as to whether or not the Bears will try to keep Urlacher.

“That is an ongoing process,” Trestman said. “We certainly have evaluated our entire football team as much as we can without seeing them work, having a chance to spend some time, some formal time with him on the field and again as we move forward in this process through the combine and through the spring, obviously all of these things are going to be resolved.

“Right now, between Phil and the personnel department and myself and the coaching department, we continue to talk about these things and process the information. But at this time we are not going to go any farther than that in our discussions.”