Bears great Brian Urlacher told ESPN’s Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic on Thursday that he doesn’t care about reconciling with the the franchise after his unhappy exit in 2013.
In hindsight, he said he was glad to no longer be a part of the organization.
“I’m glad I’m not there,” Urlacher said. “Honestly, I didn’t realize how good we had it when Lovie was there. Our defense was great every single year, and it was great because of him. We had good players. We were good every year, and we were good because of him and his coaching staff. I truly believe that. Lovie made our team and our defense go.”
Asked if there was any chance of a reconciliation between him and the organization, Urlacher was indifferent.
“Is it important to me? No, it’s not,” Urlacher said of reconciling with the Bears. “I have a ton of respect for the organization and the McCaskeys. George McCaskey is a good man. … I have a ton of respect for the family. It’s not that big a deal to me, honestly. I know where I stand. I know how my teammates felt about me and that’s all I care about.”
Urlacher went into some detail about the cause and the nature of the rift that formed between him and general manager Phil Emery last year.
Urlacher said he’s still a Bears fan who appreciated and respected the McCaskeys, but didn’t like the way his contract negotiation was handled last year.
“It wasn’t about the money for me,” Urlacher said. “It wasn’t about getting paid. It was about the way it was handled. That’s all. If there would have been more dialogue, if the GM would have said, ‘Hey we want you here, we can’t pay you what you think you’re worth, or what you think you should get paid, but we want you here, we want you on the football team, and this is what we can offer you,’ I probably would have said ‘Sure, sign me up.’
“The way it was handled was, ‘This is what it is, take it or leave it. This is what we can give you. If you want it, take it. If not it’s off the table at the end of the day.’ I didn’t think it should have been handled that way.”
Urlacher made headlines earlier this season with a criticism of Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, and the topic came up during his appearance on “Mike & Mike.”
Urlacher had said the only thing elite about Cutler was his paycheck, and he didn’t back away from those comments.
“He hasn’t changed, that’s for sure,” Urlacher said. “He is who he is. I got a bunch of flak when I was asked if he was elite. All I said was his paycheck says he’s elite. His numbers do not say he is elite. I just said the facts, and I got a bunch of flak in Chicago for saying that. But it’s the truth. The picks are up there, the turnovers are there. He’s talented. One of the most talented guys in the NFL. But it’s not a talent contest. It’s about winning football games.”
You can listen to Urlacher’s complete interview here.