Chicago Sun-Times

Cutler, others voice their support for Urlacher's return

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The Bears have been busy adding players -- tight end Martellus Bennett and left tackle Jermon Bushrod -- and clearing some cap space -- cutting tight end Kellen Davis -- since free agency opened on Tuesday.

But so far, not much has been going with their own players, who became unrestricted free agents on Tuesday at 3 p.m. Brian Urlacher, Nick Roach, Lance Louis, Jonathan Scott, Israel Idonjie and Kelvin Hayden are all out there to be had by teams.

Moving on without Urlacher remains a real possibility for the Bears. And it's the loss of Urlacher -- the Bears' defensive leader for more than a decade -- that would have the biggest impact in their locker room.

"I've been with teams where you lose players like that -- cornerstones of a franchise," quarterback Jay Cutler said on ESPN 1000's "Waddle & Silvy" show on Wednesday. "It happens. And other guys have to step up. We've played some games in the past without them. His presence has always kind of been there.

"If it doesn't work and we have to part ways with him, some other guys to have to step up, and we'll find some ways to go on winning."

One theory is that the Bears want to Urlacher to test the free-agency market and get a price, before they make a move.

"It would be nice [to have him return]," Cutler said. "You know, I think we're pretty up against the cap a little bit. We'll see what happens. It's hard to lose a guy like that on the field, off the field -- just his presence. He's a Hall-of-Fame player. So I think it's important and everybody kind of wants get to him back, but it's business. It's a shame that sometimes things kind of come down to that. Hopefully, it works out. But we'll have to wait and see."

Cutler isn't that only player that's come out in support of Urlacher.

''You start talking about our defense, Brian Urlacher is the quarterback of that defense,'' Idonije recently said on WSCR-AM (670). ''He is the linchpin in what drives us. So when you start talking about getting the offense better and then maintaining defensive success, Brian Urlacher has to be a piece of that equation. . . . You take him out of that situation, things just change.''

Kicker Robbie Gould took to Twitter to voice his thoughts.

"I haven't heard any news on @BUrlacher54." Gould said on Twitter on Tuesday night. "All I know is we need his leadership and abilities in a bears uniform."

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This page contains a single entry by Adam L. Jahns published on March 13, 2013 9:43 AM.

Bears release Kellen Davis and save $2.5 million in cap space was the previous entry in this blog.

Jay Cutler on Bushrod signing: 'It makes life easier' is the next entry in this blog.

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