Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher used Twitter to announce his retirement today, ending a 13-year career that should culminate in a Hall of Fame nod when he is eligible in 2018. Urlacher joins Ray Lewis in retirement, opening the door for a rather ridiculous 2018 Hall of Fame class (Ronde Barber and possibly Randy Moss will be eligible).
Friend of NN, Matt Miller had a couple good tweets following the announcement:
In one offseason the NFL lost two of the best MLBs of this era—Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher. The Patrick Willis-era has begun.— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) May 22, 2013
With Urlacher and Lewis gone, the NFL's best MLB is the same guy it was last year. And the year before. Patrick Willis. #49ers— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) May 22, 2013
Patrick Willis has been the best middle/inside linebacker in football for some time now. While he had surpassed Lewis and Urlacher, their respective retirements push Willis further into the forefront. Willis was already widely recognized for his skills, even as Urlacher and Lewis were still playing. That being said, I could see this as sort of acting like a passing of the torch. Anybody wanna take odds on how many preseason features we see about Urlacher and Lewis connected to Willis?
Head over to Windy City Gridiron for more Brian Urlacher retirement discussion.