Nov 27, 2011; Oakland, CA, USA; Chicago Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher (54) on the sidelines against the Oakland Raiders during the fourth quarter at Coliseum. Oakland defeated Chicago 25-20. Mandatory Credit: Jason O. Watson-USA TODAY Sports

Urlacher Motivated By Pure Greed

Nov 11, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher (54) reacts after making a play against the Houston Texans during the second quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Since I left school in 1997, I have been in the same job. I work for a large British food retailer (otherwise known as a supermarket), putting in 40 hours a week. Do you want to know how much I earn each year? The grand total of £14,000. For my American friends, that translates to just over $20,000. Hardly a large amount of money, right? Now with various state benefits to compliment my wage, I am able to take care of my wife and our two boys, with a roof over our head and food on the table, and the occasional luxury, here and there.

Want to know how much money NFL linebacker, Brian Urlacher just turned down? $2 million for one year’s work. That’s right – the Chicago Bears reportedly offered the veteran a one-year contract that would pretty much have given him $2 million. If you take my wage of $20,000, it would be 100 years before I earned $2 million. And that’s just what Urlacher was offered this year. It doesn’t take into account all the millions he has earned throughout his successful NFL career with the Chicago Bears.

Now, I am not saying he doesn’t deserve the money. The nature of the business pretty much dictates how much players get paid, and if someone offered me millions of dollars as my wage, I wouldn’t hesitate in taking it. But here’s the truth – It was purely Brian Urlacher’s decision to leave the Chicago Bears. He could quite easily have accepted their generous offer and finished his career in the windy city, which is what I am sure he would have preferred. But no; he decided to turn down $2 million, for reasons which still remain a mystery to me, but I am going to go out on a limb and say it was a decision motivated by nothing more than greed.

Here’s what Urlacher had to say about it:

“I’m not upset. I was never upset. I understand the business side of football. It was just time to move on for me, that’s all there is to it. I was never upset. Disappointed, yes. I want to be a Bear one-hundred percent. It just didn’t work out. But I’ve never been upset about it, just disappointed.”

So, apparently, it just didn’t work out, eh? You know why it didn’t work out, Brian? Because you didn’t want to play football for the Chicago Bears. That’s the only reason it didn’t work out. No one said they didn’t want you to put on a Bears uniform anymore. No one physically stopped you from doing anything. It was your decision not to return to Chicago, and it looks as though it was a move fueled mainly by money. And that makes me feel a little bit sorry for you.

Just exactly how much money does Brian Urlacher or any other football player actually need. While we may not know the ins and outs of their financial affairs, I think it’s fair to say that most football players (especially those with the talent of Urlacher) are rewarded handsomely for their endeavours. And yes, I know that a football career does not last forever, but even with that in mind, most should rake in enough money to ensure they are more than comfortable for the rest of their lives.

If these figures are to believed, Urlacher has earned a butt load of money during his time with the Bears.

So why did he turn down the $2 million that Chicago offered him. Perhaps I have things wrong and Urlacher needs more money, rather than just wanting more. Almost as if $2 million is just not enough for what Urlacher needs. But to me, that just sounds ridiculous.

I think one of the problems with fame and money is that it sort of forces you to live a lifestyle that you might not previously have wanted. I have always said that if I won the lottery, I wouldn’t buy a helicopter or a huge mansion, because I have never wanted those things. I would just be happy to know that I could have the things that I can’t right now, due to lack of funds. But how frequently do you see NFL players with huge houses and a multitude of expensive sports cars. Why? It’s as if they feel duty bound to live that way, just because their income allows them to.

But I am sure they have advisers who let them know how they are expected to live, and how big their house should be, and how many cars they can afford. What’s wrong with a nice three bedroom property and a decent family car?

The sad truth is that we still hear horror stories of former NFL players that are now sitting at home without a penny to their name. Whether that is through poor investments, or just squandering the money away, it still paints a painful picture. But unless they had their money stolen from them, they realistically only have themselves to blame. I am positive that they would have earned enough money during their playing days to set them straight for the rest of their lives. But for some, this doesn’t seem to be the case.

Like a lot of famous people who are suddenly faced with a large influx of wealth, they find themselves having to maintain a very lavish lifestyle that costs a lot of money. But do they really need to live that way. For the most part, NFL players don’t end up broke or having to work elsewhere once their football career is over. And these are the players who don’t subscribe to the millionaire lifestyle, and continue to live within their means, investing their money wisely and planning for the future.

Bear in mind that Urlacher also had this to say about the 2 frikkin million dollars he was offered:

“Which is a lot of money, don’t get me wrong, but for me to go through a season, put my body through what it goes through during a season at my age, I’m not going to play for that, you know, not for the Bears at least. So we made a counter offer and that was never acceptable to them.  They said, basically, our offer is one year, two million.”

There you have it folks. He is NOT going to play football for $2 million. Nope, Brian Urlacher is worth a lot more than that. He turns his nose up at your little $2 million. He finds that sort of offer insulting. For me, this tarnishes his career with the Bears. It doesn’t negate all the great things he did for the team, but it has left a bitter taste in many people’s mouths. And I for one, can’t shake it.

We’ll never really know why the offer from the Bears wasn’t enough for Urlacher. But I find it hard to believe he needed more than what was on the table. It’s more of a case of Urlacher just wanting as much money as he could lay his hands on.

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Tags: Brian Urlacher Chicago Bears Contract Free Agency NFC NFL NFL News

  • Jerry Richardson

    Sadly in Urlachers case, as in many Sports Superstars cases; their egos get the better of them. They then in turn value their “player status” on the amount of money they recieve. In short, more money=ego qualification=I am the greatest (ego)=Pay me or else mentality(ego)=I love the game…but(ego)!=I want to be a Bear for life(?)=pay me!(ego)
    None of these players should need the money after their first million dollar payday by the average persons sensibilities, or by any real standards of comfortability. It sickens me when I think of the way these stars are lavished with praise, with emotional affections, with honors, with fan adortion…and then to have them behave as “rich,spoiled children” when they should be setting moral values for the youth of today. I despise their $$$ motivated egos and their overblown sense of selfish adoration and egotistical disdain for what their exaggerated personalities do to the average fan who can no longer take his family out to see a game because of the ticket prices driven higher and higher by their incessant dmands to be paid as big as their f*%#en egos. I for one believe they are all driven by $$$ lust and greed…because it is the only way they know how to base/verify their own personal worth as a person.

  • David Gilbert

    Jerry, you are a man after my own heart. You are right when you say that they should be set after their first million. Probably more than most people would be able to bank in a lifetime. I don’t wanna hear excuses about agent fees and stuff like that. If they wanted to, they could negotiate their own deals. Agents have just made all the players think that they need one. Much like lawyers do. Great points made though, Jerry.

  • Gary Schaber

    While there are valid points here,I can also see some of this from Brian’s viewpoint.Football is an exceptionally physically demanding sport.Look at the number of former players who have significant injuries,to the point of having a hard time even enjoying their post-football life.So why not try to get more money? Look what the sport does to their bodies.Johnny Knox may well never play again.My point in all this is.The Bears could’ve offered more money to Brian,they chose not to.A player with his track record,I feel does deserve a better offer from the team than he got.

    • Antoine

      @Gary That point of view is the reason why Urlacher isn’t a Bear, he’s been in the league for 13 yrs and has to had made 50 mill and that’s low balling. If he wanted to be a Bear he would if took the money. He wants a ring and he knows the team is cash strapped so let’s get more talent and go to the Superbowl. But he wants more money. So we know up grade his position with Alec Ogletree and can watch us get there next year.

      • Gary Schaber

        I hope you are right,but I still can’t help feeling the BEARS made a mistake.

  • Erik Duerrwaechter

    While I will not comment as to whether or not Brian Urlacher made his decisions based on greed, I will say the Chicago Bears were right in both the amount they offered, and with their decision to carry on smartly. Instead of holding out for so long like what Jerry Angelo did with Olin Kreutz, Phil Emery approached Brian Urlacher, made him their one offer, then went out to sign suitable replacements immediately after he declined their offer.

  • Michael Irick

    Its all about the market.

    Wheter it’s groceries or football, a person deserves to be paid fair market value.

    2 million for Urlacher (even at this stage of his career) is an insult.

    • Jeremy Alexander

      He was the worst statistical defender on their team last year. He is lucky it was not for league minimum. He was not going to be better a year later and older. Brian is my second favorite Bear after Walter Payton, but there are realities in life. Also, he just said he would play somewhere else for the same money the Bears just offered him. There is NO market reality where you get paid for what you did in the past. He was well paid in the past, now he is not very good, and was offered more than he is currently worth. I am a chef and I am getting older. It is harder for me to keep up with the young guys on the line. Should I tell my employer to keep my position and my salary because of how fast I was a few years ago? No, he paid me well for those years, now I should be given a position and be paid what I am worth now. And I am better at my position at my age than Brian is at his. It is not an insult, it is reality. I am a Bears fan first, not a fan of a player, especially one that while good, was not good enough to lead us to a championship the way an even older and more productive Ray Lewis just did by putting a team on his soldiers and winning the superbowl.

    • Celestino Shinn

      Well, I guess he prefers unemployed to insult AND, according to ESPN scoring, there are four FA LBs ranked higher than Urlacher, who are also thus far unemployed. Urlacher (and his agent??) foolishly failed to read the market.

  • Abiss

    FFS. You take welfare from the government, you work at a supermarket to supplement your welfare, but somehow this qualifies you to read ‘the heart’ of someone you don’t know and have never met that lives a world away from you? What you’re doing – as any psychologist will quickly tell you – is projecting your own nasty, petulant greed onto a stranger. It’s embarrassing. You would be ashamed of yourself, if the part of you that had any sense of self-awareness, and was thus capable of shame, still functioned. Keep your envy based judgement of your fellow man on your own side of the ocean – we have enough of it here that we don’t need to import any of your foreign inferiority. As for Brian ‘choosing’ not to be a Bear? So what if he did? What’s it to you? You CHOOSE everyday to be a welfare drag on your neighbors and a cart pusher at a supermarket. If you’re not satisfied, perhaps you should work harder to do something else? You know, like BILLIONS of other people. I suspect your wife and kids would respect you a lot more for that, even if you should try and fail, than they will your efforts at whining and complaining about the unfairness inherent in people who support themselves (and others) and thus are NOT chains and anchors on their friends, family and neighbors.

    • David Gilbert

      Touched a nerve…intriguing. My point is why did he turn down $2 million for one year’s work? I can’t believe he NEEDS that money, and if he does, then it’s slightly worrying, given how much Urlacher has earned throughout his career. The only logical explanation is that he feels his time and effort is somehow worth more than $2 million. Which is something you find acceptable. I don’t agree. If he was a rookie who wasn’t sure how long his career was going to last, then I would agree with trying to get as much as possible. But not for someone in Urlacher’s situation. he had a choice, and he chose not to play for the Bears. That’s because he didn’t want to. His hand was not forced. He chose to try and get more money. Sad, but true. And I will not be responding to any personal comments you made about me, because, quite frankly, you don’t know anything about me.
      Jah Bless.

      • Abiss

        Not true David. I know your Irony Meter is broken. And I now know my comment about you was dead on. This is at least 2 more things than you know about Brian Urlacher’s heart on the matter.

        • David Gilbert

          and what exactly do you know about Urlacher’s ‘heart’? Do share.

          • Abiss

            Not a thing.

          • David Gilbert


          • Abiss

            Oh, I think we’ve all gained quite a bit of insight. That you’re a passive aggressive beta, being the third thing. Well done David. Good show.