End of an era: Urlacher, Bears part ways after 13 seasons

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A legend was born Sept. 17, 2000, when Brian Urlacher recorded 13 tackles and a sack in his first NFL start.

Twelve seasons and more than 1,700 tackles later, the face of the Chicago Bears is set to start a new chapter.

The team said Wednesday it had broken off contract talks with Urlacher, making the 34-year-old middle linebacker a free agent. Urlacher previously expressed a desire to play at least two more seasons and had hoped to finish with the Bears.

“We were unable to reach an agreement with Brian and both sides have decided to move forward,” general manager Phil Emery said in a release. “Brian has been an elite player in our league for over a decade. He showed great leadership and helped develop a winning culture over his time with the Bears. We appreciate all he has given our team, on and off the field. Brian will always be welcome as a member of the Bears.”

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