Players and teams typically dislike negotiating through the media. But Brian Urlacher started doing a bit of that via social media this and now he and the Bears are talking more substantially about a new contract for the franchise fixture at middle linebacker for the past 13 years.
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Whether or not intending to answer some Bears questions about the injured knee and hamstring of last year, Urlacher tweeted “Another day, another kick ass workout—BU” (@BUrlacher54) on Tuesday, and that after “Can't wait for the season to start-BU” on Sunday, the latter not always the offseason sentiment of a 13-year veteran.
Urlacher has more than 107.000 Twitter followers but best guess is that his preferred readers would be Bears GM Phil Emery and coach Marc Trestman.
That was followed by conversations between the Bears and Urlacher’s representatives on Thursday, talks which finally got around to putting numbers on the table.
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Trestman has been complimentary but noncommittal about wanting Urlacher back with the Bears in 2013, beyond, “he exemplifies what being a Chicago Bear is all about, and we all know that.”
Emery said last month at the NFL Scouting Combine that Urlacher would not be shown disrespect regardless of the organization’s decisions.
What that translates to in terms of contract dollars is ultimately what will determine the course of talks this weekend. The signing period for free agents begins next Tuesday but new league rules permit teams on Saturday to begin talking to players still under contract with their old teams, which Urlacher is.
Urlacher is likely to get at least two phone calls. Former Bears linebackers coach Bob Babich is the new defensive coordinator with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Former Bears defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli was hired as Dallas Cowboys defensive line coach after declining an offer to remain with the Bears.
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Neither are known Twitter followers. Until now.