Brian Urlacher gets to join a club with Michael Jordan and Carlton Fisk-elite players with unpleasant departures from Chicago sports teams. Since the negotiations for the former Bear ended last week, Urlacher has not been shy about talking to several media outlets. Maybe it is the shock after playing his entire thirteen year career with the Bears that it’s over. Brian’s version of the contract talks doesn’t paint a pretty picture of how he perceived it was handled. Because the Bears have not addressed the process, the only account comes from Urlacher. So it’s best to leave it to Urlacher to throw the stones. No matter what, it was going to be a no-win situation for the team. Getting rid of a future Hall-of-Famer has historically been a public relations nightmare. Generally, it takes a while before the player and team will reconcile, if they ever do.
It has to be difficult for a player that at one time was an elite player to make an honest account of their skills and ultimately their worth. When the team is forced to make the decision to go in a different direction, it is awkward and difficult.
Twenty years ago, the White Sox had a situation that is similar to this one. The Sox had a future Hall-of-Famer behind the plate, Carlton Fisk, with diminishing skills, was a prideful man, not the easiest of baseball personalities. However, we had a terrific rapport during his tenure on the south side.