For more than a decade, Brian Urlacher played America’s most beloved game – football. The football star has all the traits you look for in a linebacker, and even though he never won the much-coveted Super Bowl, he performed consistently at a high level. He earned himself multiple places in the Pro Bowl, and ultimately, a place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. With his playing style, dedication to hard work, and fighting for his team, Brian was not loved by fans of the Chicago Bears alone, but also by his teammates. Hence, the surprise when he announced his decision to retire from the game in 2013.
Brian was an imposing figure, perfect in tearing the ball from a great player’s hands, but over the years, many wondered why the Chicago Bears linebacker retired, especially when he was still in great physical shape. In this article, we answer why, along with facts about his net worth. Check it out below.
Why Did Brian Urlacher Retire From the NFL?
After thirteen years in the league, playing consistently at the top level, and delivering mouth-watering performances, Brian Urlacher announced his retirement via his Twitter account on the 22nd of May, 2013. There have been speculations as to why the Washington-born linebacker called time on his career, but the official reason given by the linebacker was the desire to hang up his cape because he was no longer capable of delivering excellent performances. Convinced he could no longer do so, he decided to retire.
However, the real reason is a lot more complicated than that. At the time of the announcement, Brian was a free agent, having been released from the Chicago Bears following the inability of both parties to come to favorable terms. Despite leaving the Bears, he hoped to find another team, but just like the Bears, he was unable to find a contract agreement he was satisfied with.
In addition to his inability to secure a favorable contract, it is also believed that he retired because of the departure of head coach Lovie Smith, whom he worked with between 2004 and 2012. Brian had a good coach-player relationship with Smith, who at the beginning of his coaching career with the Bears was known for his three goals: beat the Green Bay Packers; win the NFC North; and win a Super Bowl. Following his departure from the team in 2012, he had very little motivation to continue playing for the team beyond the incentive of a good contract. As a result, Brian Urlacher retired from the NFL.
— Brian Urlacher (@BUrlacher54) May 22, 2013
As expected, the announcement of his sudden end of career left many of his fans in total shock. On Twitter, his followers of over 300K flooded his page with lots of good wishes as he pursues his other life endeavors.
A Look At His Career in the NFL
Brian Urlacher joined the NFL after an impressive college career at the University of New Mexico, where he majored in criminology. The Chicago Bears drafted him in the first round as the ninth overall pick. Following the flourishing college career that earned him awards, including the All-American honors, he was treated as one of the most talented collegiate prospects in the 2000 NFL Draft. The Chicago Bears, who were in a desperate search for a defensive playmaker, expected nothing less when picking him. He went on to spend his entire career with the Bears, playing a total of 182 games, recording 1,037 tackles, 316 assists, and 41.5 quarterback sacks. He also had 22 interceptions over 324 total yards.
Before he retired, Brian Urlacher countlessly distinguished himself as one of his team’s most productive playmakers. He won several awards, including Defensive Player of the Year, Defensive Rookie of the Year, and the Brian Piccolo Award, which he won twice. He was also named in the Pro Bowl eight times and in the First-Team All-Pro four times. After his retirement, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 2018. His college jersey number, 44, was also retired by his college team, New Mexico Lobos.
Brian Urlacher is a Rich Man
After a stellar football career with the Bears, Brian’s legacy is defined not only by his accomplishments but also by his impact on his coaches, others associated with the organization, and above all, his teammates. There is also no doubt that this distinguished player has earned a huge wealth that would last him a lifetime.
Thirteen years in the NFL has helped Brian Urlacher become a rich man with a total net worth of $16 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. He earned the bulk of his wealth via his salary, which was up to $7.5 million during his last year with the Chicago Bears. His first salary with the team was signed in July 2000, and it was worth $7.75 million across five years.
Brian Urlacher’s enviable net worth has come from earning up to $80 million as total income throughout his NFL career. He earned $41.8 million in basic salary and received an additional $24.5 million in signing bonuses, as well as $8.9 million, $2.250 million, and $2.5 million in roster bonus, workout bonus, and restructure bonus, respectively.
In addition to his salary income, Brian has also made bank through endorsement and sponsorship deals. He appeared in several commercials for brands like Comcast, Nike, Old Spice, McDonald’s, Mastercard, and several others. His role as a spokesperson for companies like Sega Sports, as well as his appearance on the cover of NFL 2K3 is sure to have earned him additional income.
He has also earned money from sponsors like Glaceau Vitamin Water, Campbell’s Chunky soup, and Domino’s Pizza. Additionally, Brian Urlacher’s short role as a football analyst for Fox Sports also contributed to his net worth. He started working for the network after his retirement in 2013. However, he resigned a year later to spend time with his family.
However, his long acquired income seemed to have hit the rock over the recent years following a series of legal suits leveled against him by the mother of his son, Kennedy. In 2018, Tyna Karageorge filed a $125 million defamation lawsuit against the former American player, alleging that he conspired with reporter David Haugh and Chicago Tribune to portray her as a “killer.” Although none of her claims was found to have merit, Brian Urlacher was also afraid his $16 million net worth could not shoulder his situation if she wins.
In 2017, Brian placed his 6,829-square-foot mansion in north suburban Mettawa on the market for $3 million. Urlacher bought the mansion for $2.312 million in 2004, and he chose to sell it off because he spends the majority of his time in Arizona.