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Urlacher, Bears to part ways after 13 seasons

Published: Thursday, March 21, 2013 12:27 p.m. CDT

CHICAGO (AP) — Brian Urlacher wanted to re-sign with the Chicago Bears. Instead, they’re parting ways with the veteran linebacker after 13 years.

General manager Phil Emery said that the team couldn’t agree on a contract with Urlacher, for years the heart and face of the franchise. He is now a free agent after being slowed by a knee problem and then missing the last four games of the season with a hamstring injury.

The 34-year-old Urlacher, an eight-time Pro Bowl player, started 180 games from 2000 through 2012, recording a team-record 1,779 tackles. The ninth overall selection in the 2000 draft has 41.5 sacks, 22 interceptions, 16 fumble recoveries and 11 forced fumbles. He was the AP’s defensive player of the year in 2005 and helped lead the 2006 team to the Super Bowl.

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