(CBS) After 13 seasons with the Chicago Bears, Brian Urlacher has officially retired.
Urlacher announced the decision today with the following statement:
“After spending a lot of time this spring thinking about my NFL future, I have made a decision to retire. 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.”
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After an injury-plagued season, the Bears and the 34-year-old middle linebacker were unable to reach an agreement for the 2013 season, agreeing to part ways in March.
“We were unable to reach an agreement with Brian and both sides have decided to move forward,” Bears general manager Phil Emery said in a release. “Brian has been an elite player in our league for over a decade. He showed great leadership and helped develop a winning culture over his time with the Bears. We appreciate all he has given our team, on and off the field. Brian will always be welcome as a member of the Bears.”
The Bears drafted Urlacher with the ninth overall pick in 2000. He spent 13 seasons in Chicago, earning eight Pro Bowl nominations.
This story is still developing. Check back for updates.