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Urlacher retires from NFL

Published: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 10:44 a.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 11:06 a.m. CDT

Brian Urlacher will retire as a Bear.

Urlacher announced his retirement from the NFL on Wednesday rather than signing with another team, which had been his initial goal. He played 13 seasons with the Bears and leaves as the franchise's all-time leading tackler and one of its greatest players in history.

"It was an honor to play my entire career for the Chicago Bears," Urlacher said in a message posted on his Twitter account.

Urlacher, who will turn 35 on Saturday, explained his decision in a written statement.

"After spending a lot of time this spring thinking about my NFL future, I have made a decision to retire," Urlacher said. "Although 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 gave 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."

Urlacher will be eligible for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame starting in 2018.

-Tom Musick

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