(CBS) The silence since the end of the regular season has been impossible to ignore, but it may be over.

According to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, the Bears are engaged in contract discussions with 13-year veteran Brian Urlacher.

The aging middle linebacker could hit the market next week when free agency starts, but the Bears might be looking to lock him up before that happens.

Arguments have been made both ways about whether or not the Bears should bring Urlacher back. On one hand, he’s clearly not the player he used to be, but on the other hand, there aren’t many better options out there to replace him next season.

Florio notes that in 2009, the Ravens allowed Ray Lewis to hit the market before the linebacker decided to return to Baltimore. If Urlacher doesn’t come back to Chicago, the Dallas Cowboys could be interested.

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