BY DOYLE HORWART ON MARCH 5, 2013
I want to preface my next statement by saying that I am not a Tom Brady fan. I have never been a Tom Brady fan. I will never be a Tom Brady fan. Period.
With that being said I respect the hell out of him. Not always for what he has accomplished on the field but for his latest contract extension. Brady doesn’t need the money anymore and after failing to win a Super Bowl since 2004, he is willing to take one for the team. With the ongoing uncertainty of Wes Welker resigning with the team and a slew of young talent coming up, Tom Terrific did what he should have done — freed up money for his teammates.
I watched the Bears last year — I watched them get off to a quick start then I watched them get shredded in San Francisco on Monday Night Football and continue to lose momentum until ultimately failing to make the playoffs…again.
I have always loved the style of football the Chicago Bears play — tough, gritty, buckle up your chinstrap, 4 yards and a cloud of dust football. That’s the way I like to see the game being played, but the NFL has changed. Elite Quarterbacks are a hot commodity and with the new Joe Flacco deal it looks like teams are willing to throw a lot of cash at QB’s that can win games and more importantly win Super Bowls.
The Bears have been not so quietly assembling a potent offense, at least at the skills positions. Everybody’s most hated Quarterback and Wide Receiver duo is back in Chicago and the front office finally coughed up enough money to keep Matt Forte happy. I expect with new offensive-minded head coach Marc Trestman, the Bears will continue to focus on scoring points and let the Defense continue to make plays, generating turnovers and basically doing what they have done for years.
The future of the Bears seems black pretty black and white right now except for one thing –What will happen to Brian Urlacher? Urlacher’s contract ran out at the end of the 2012 season and most critics and fans would agree that he has lost more than a step since he signed his $40 million contract back in 2008.
Being a college football fan, I’m used to having short term relationships with players. It’s 3 or 4 years and on to the next level. Urlacher was drafted by the Bears and has been dominating the middle of the field for the Monsters of the Midway since 2000. It’s going to be tough to see him go, but I personally think it’s too soon to wave goodbye. I don’t expect him to get big money. I don’t think he’s looking for that. He loves the game and he is as big of a part of Bears history as anybody since Walter Payton. I hope the Bears and Ulacher can do the right thing for the fans, and for the city of Chicago.
The front office needs to give Urlacher one more year and No. 54 needs to give the front office the hometown discount. Who knows, maybe Urlacher can go out like Ray Lewis did — busted up and covered in confetti wearing the same team colors as when he started.