Bears say they won't make an exception for Urlacher

Updated: April 23, 2008, 6:05 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Chicago Bears general manager Jerry Angelo indicated Tuesday that the team won't budge off its contract offer to linebacker Brian Urlacher, who has been skipping the team's voluntary workouts while seeking a contract extension.

Brian Urlacher

Urlacher

"You're not going to have one big happy family," Angelo told reporters. "You who have kids and raise families understand it doesn't happen in your homes, and it certainly isn't going to happen at Halas Hall when you have 53 kids and we have to make every one of them happy. It's just not reality."

According to Chicago-area published reports, Urlacher, currently signed through 2011, has been offered a one-year extension with a $5 million guaranteed signing bonus and an extra $1 million per year if he plays 85 percent of the team's defensive snaps.

Urlacher, whose current deal is for nine years and $56 million, including a $13 million signing bonus, wants a multiyear extension with more guaranteed money, according to reports.

"The way we do business is going to continue as what we've always done," Angelo said. "We don't negotiate through the media. That's nothing that we've done or will now do just because a player may be more high-profile.

"There are going to be times when we're not going to be accommodating. There are going to be times when players aren't going to be happy with contracts."

Asked if the Bears should make an exception for Urlacher, given his stature in Chicago and place in team history, Angelo replied: "Are you saying Brian's special, and we should do something for Brian and the other 52 will understand?"

''The good news with Brian is he is a Bear. He wants to be a Bear," Angelo added. "Everything is going well with his rehab [from neck surgery]. We can't wait to see him. That's all good news, and that's what we're playing on internally.''

Last week, Urlacher denied reports that he was seeking a trade out of Chicago or contemplating retirement.

In eight NFL seasons, all in Chicago, Urlacher has 970 tackles, including 37½ sacks, eight forced fumbles and 15 interceptions. He had 123 tackles and five interceptions last season.

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