Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher, whose dissatisfaction with his current deal is no secret, showed up at the team’s mandatory minicamp on Friday.
There had been some speculation that he would skip this event – something he had hinted was a possibility – after missing off-season conditioning drills and voluntary workouts.
After a horribly disappointing 2007 campaign, the last thing the Bears need is a contract dispute with their stud defensive stalwart. But Urlacher believes that the nine-year, $56.5 million deal (which included a $13 million signing bonus) he signed in 2003 is outdated.
Urlacher’s deal doesn’t expire until after the 2011 season, and clearly he’d like the team to renegotiate. After shaking off back problems to play every game for a third straight year, while racking up five sacks, a career-high five picks and over 120 tackles for a third straight year, obviously he feels he’s worth more money.
Yes, it’s annoying, but is par for the course, isn’t it?
Urlacher underwent neck surgery after the season and did six weeks of rehab, saying he feels great now.
He’ll probably feel much better once this contract situation is dealt with.
The fact that he did make it to the minicamp suggests that this is a problem that can be worked out. For the Bears’ sake, as they attempt to get back into contention after an ugly year, it better iron itself out pronto.