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Brian Urlacher retires from NFL

Brian Urlacher retires, having worn only one uniform in his NFL career. (Charles Rex Arbogast / AP)

After 13 years in the NFL, Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher has announced his retirement, saying he takes pride in having his entire career with only one team.

Urlacher, an eight-time Pro Bowl player who was named defensive rookie of the year and defensive player of the year, made the announcement on Twitter.

“After spending a lot of time this spring thinking about my NFL future, I have made a decision to retire. Although I could continue playing, I’m not sure I would bring a level of performance of passion that’s up to my standards,” he wrote.

“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, 34, and the Bears parted in March, when he and the team were unable to reach agreement on a new contract. The team offered what Urlacher told the Chicago Tribune was a one-year, $2 million contract that he called an “ultimatum, not a negotiation.”

“I wanted to be in Chicago,” Urlacher, who had knee surgery last summer, told the Tribune. “I wanted to finish here.”

Follow @CindyBoren on Twitter and on Facebook.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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