BB: We Say Brian Urlacher And You Say...

Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

The sun has risen, the steaming coffee reading it's journey and the threatening clouds have parted. The Bengals must have signed someone on Thursday. Plus we unusually look at someone else.

+ After 13 years with the Chicago Bears, linebacker Brian Urlacher is out of a job. According to reports, Chicago asked Urlacher to submit an offer. He allegedly proposed a two-year deal worth $11.5 million. Chicago countered with a one-year deal worth $2 million. Urlacher asked for $3.5 million.

"And then they said, 'No, you take this offer or leave it. Take it or leave it,'" Urlacher told Mike and Mike on ESPN Radio. "It was kind of an ultimatum. Either sign this or leave. That's the way it was. They never moved off their initial offer."

The Bears didn't even tell him personally that he was going to be released, news made by a press release.

"My phone was blowing up, and I had no freaking idea what was going on," Urlacher said via the Chicago Tribune. "I had 10 messages in 20 seconds. Then I was like, 'Holy crap.' It was crazy."

And sad.

When you think Chicago Bears, you think Urlacher. Even Bears fans were a little shocked.

Dan Pompei, who has covered the NFL for 28 years and current Chicago Tribute writer, reacts.

I believe the Bears will miss Urlacher. It's hard to say how much because we don't know who will be replacing him. If they replace him with a first or second round draft pick, that player may perform as well or better than Urlacher could in his 14th season.

But it is highly unlikely that whoever is lined up at middle linebacker will provide the kind of presence Urlacher has for so long. There is no question the Bears will miss his ability to quarterback the defense, his knack for bringing people together, the standard he set in terms of work ethic, and the confidence he gave those around him. The Bears still will be competitive. But they won't be the same.

Should the Bengals reach out? Maybe keep Vontaze Burfict at WILL, move Maualuga at SAM to mentor under Urlacher?

Let's compare last year:

Brian Urlacher Rey Maualuga
Games 12 16
Snaps (Defense) 726 1,110
Tackles 68 122
Missed Tackles 10 18
Interceptions 1 0
Sacks 0 1
Force Fumbles 2 0
PFF Overall -11.3 -29.7
PFF Run Defense -13.6 -6.7
PFF Pass Rush -3.5 0.5
PFF Coverage 6.7 -20.2

Said on Twitter Thursday night.

Bacon Bits...

+ Andre Smith. Ben Droga. Meet Cincy Jungle, an extremely patient community of Bengals fans observing and waiting. Maybe not patient. Either way according to Geoff Hobson, the very visible Droga wasn't speaking publicly with the Cincinnati Bengals during league meetings in Phoenix.

And from what could be deduced this week at the Arizona Biltmore, the Andre Smith negotiations are still shrouded in mystery. Although the Bengals and agent Ben Dogra were on site, it didn't appear that they met. If they did, it wasn't publicly and Dogra was fairly public when he was seen at various times talking with the Lions and Patriots.

+ The Cincinnati Bengals have reportedly agreed to terms with quarterback Josh Johnson. Will Cincinnati keep their trained eye on the draft for a late-round selection to generate competition. My instinct says yes. But a little less today than yesterday.

+ Adam Jones on return with some of his teammates.

"I was talking to Leon and the first thing I asked him is 'How long is your contract?' " Jones said. "We've got a pretty good tandem going back there. The three of us like playing together. It's fun. One of us might be down one day, but the other guy picks him up."

The third being Terence Newman.

+ Even though agreements are being made, neither Adam Jones nor Josh Johnson have officially signed their deals. Cincinnati will announce those when their contracts are signed. Then we can call it official.

+ Still waiting on Terence Newman, who tweeted earlier this week that a decision should be made by Friday.

+ If you're a commentor, someone who has been around for a long time and mixed it with others, emeybee probably nailed you.

+ NFL Films talks with Geno Atkins.

+ Would have liked to see Ted Ginn Jr. play for Cincinnati, but the native Buckeye had other thoughts. Despite the heated reaction when saying the words "Brandon Tate", Cincinnati's return specialist sported a better average than Ginn. Tate and Adam Jones also combined for a better punt return average. That combination will be fine.

+ Over/under that the Bengals draft one Georgia Bulldog this year. Going over.

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