Brian Urlacher on Bears future: `Whatever happens, happens` - Fox 2 News Headlines

Urlacher on Bears future: `Whatever happens, happens`: EXCLUSIVE

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

After his team missed the playoffs for the fifth time in the past six seasons, Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher tells FOX 32 in an exclusive interview he has no idea if he will be back with the team next season.

"Yeah, I'm a free agent right now. I guess, I don't know, I've never been in this situation before, so I don't know how that works," Urlacher said. "We have a team meeting tomorrow (Monday). I'll go to the team meeting, and whatever happens in the future. I'm not too worried about it right now."

Urlacher, in the final year of his contract, watched from the sidelines Sunday for the fourth straight game, hampered with a hamstring injury.

"I still feel like I can play some football," he said. "An offseason of rehab is gonna help. I didn't get a chance to do a whole lot last year with my knee being banged up the whole time."

"This year, I did some during the season, but I think an offseason of rehab will help and whatever happens, happens. If it's not here, then it won't be here."

Urlacher said he's not sure how much football he has left in him. Although he says he's in no rush, he'll start weighing his options now that the Bears season is finished.

"I don't know (how many years he has left). I have no idea," Urlacher said. "You know, I don't even know if I'm gonna be able to. You know, being a free agent in this situation right now, I'm not sure. We'll see how it goes the next few weeks or months, however long it takes to figure out what's going to happen."

"I'm not in a rush right now. You know, I've got time. Not making the playoffs, you have a lot of time to think about it, so that's what we'll do, I'm sure."

Urlacher told FOX 32 that he still plans to maintain a residence in Chicago even if his time is up with the Bears.

"There's a lot of things going on beyond football for myself," Urlacher said. "You know, obviously this is where I made my home, and I'm gonna stay children are here and I got a lot of things going for me other than that, but I want to keep playing football, and I want to keep playing here."

Urlacher caught heat from fans and the media when he told FOX 32's Lou Canellis two weeks ago, "Two of the people I don't care about, fans or the media," Urlacher said. "They can say what they want to about our head coach, about our players. It does bother me because those people don't know what they're talking about, obviously.

After Sunday's loss, a somber Urlacher says it's hard not to feel some responsibility when the head coach is fired but he still feels confident Lovie Smith will be the Bears head coach next season.

"Well, as a player, you always…if your head coach doesn't return, you'll feel responsible. You know, when Coach (Dick) Jauron got fired in, like, 2003-2004, as a player you feel like you let him down. You know, you didn't play well enough for him to keep his job. I don't think that situation's going to happen here, but we definitely felt that way when Coach Jauron was fired."

Urlacher was quick to voice his support for Smith, saying it would be a huge mistake to fire him.

"One-hundred percent," he said. "He can't play for us. He gets us ready to play every week. He can't tackle people, he can't make picks, he can't block for the quarterback or run the football. All he can do is coach us, and he does a great job."

"We're always prepared to play on Sundays, and that's about as far as he can get us. You know, he makes decisions in the games when to go for it, when not to go for it on fourth down, when to kick a field goal, and he's done a great job doing all that. I don't see how you couldn't bring him back as a head coach."

Smith has one year left on a four-year contract worth $22 million and Bears general manager Phil Emery has said Smith would be evaluated after the season. Urlacher said he understands change is a necessary part of the game.

"There's changes every year. Don't think we've had the same team ever," he said. "It's the NFL, there's changeover every single year. That's just the way our business works. You just expect that every season. You expect it to be different wherever you are, wherever you're playing. The guys are going to be different every year."

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