Chicago Bears find a replacement for Urlacher
The Bears have their potential successor to Brian Urlacher.
A league source said the Bears have signed former Broncos linebacker D.J. Williams to a one-year deal two days after cutting off talks with Urlacher. Williams, 30, was cut by the Broncos after a season in which he faced two suspensions, a six game suspension for violating the league’s performance enhancing policy, and a three game suspension for his second arrest for driving under the influence.
He is a productive player with speed who had the second most tackles in the NFL in 2007. Scouts considered him one of the best linebacker talents on the market. He was a first round pick in 2004. The contract Williams signed gives the Bears protection should Williams not stay on track. His base salary is $900,000, and none of his contract is guaranteed. He can earn a maximum of $1.75 million if he hits a workout bonus and a series of roster bonuses spread out over time.
Following a legend is difficult, even when that legend has struggled for several years with injuries.
Here's the question, though: is Urlacher a Bears legend in the eyes of fans? Before you answer this, remember what Urlacher had to say to the Bears fan base last year after a tough loss and chorus of boo birds:
"Two of the people I don't care about are fans and media...I don't care what they say. They don't know that they're talking about."
Something tells me Williams is going to be more welcome than we probably think--especially if he lays off the sauce.