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Brian Urlacher retires after 13-year NFL career

05.22.13 at 12:37 pm ET
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Former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher announced his retirement Wednesday, ending a 13-year NFL career.

‘€œAfter spending a lot of time this spring thinking about my NFL future, I have made a decision to retire,’€ Urlacher wrote. ‘€œAlthough I could continue playing, I’€™m not sure I would bring a level of performance or passion that’€™s up to my standards. When considering this, along with the fact that I could retire after a 13-year career wearing only one jersey for such a storied franchise, my decision became pretty clear. I want to thank all of the people in my life that have helped me along the way. I will miss my teammates, my coaches, and the great Bears fans. I’m proud to say that I have all of you everything I had every time I took the field. I will miss this great game, but I leave it with no regrets.’€

The eight-time Pro Bowler played his entire career in Chicago, and was the face of the organization for many years. He and the Bears were unable to reach an agreement on a contract this offseason and he became a free agent.

Urlacher recorded a franchise-record 1,779 tackles in 182 games between 2000 and 2012. He also had 41.5 sacks, 22 interceptions, 16 fumble recoveries and 11 forced fumbles in his career.

The ninth overall pick in the 2000 NFL draft was the 2000 AP Defensive Rookie of the Year, the 2005 AP Defensive Player of the Year and a first-team All-Pro four times. He helped lead the Bears to the Super Bowl in 2007.

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