"After spending a lot time this spring thinking about my NFL future, I have made the decision to retire. Although I could continue playing, I'm not sure I would bring a level of performance or passion that's up to my standards," Urlacher wrote on Wednesday. "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."
Urlacher was the 2005 Defensive Player of the Year and went to eight Pro Bowls.
Urlacher is one of four players w/40+ sacks, 20+ INTs since 1982, when sacks became an official stat.
— Michael C. Wright (@mikecwright) May 22, 2013
More from the Associated Press:
CHICAGO — Star linebacker Brian Urlacher says he's retiring after spending 13 seasons with the Chicago Bears.
The eight-time Pro Bowler announced his retirement through social media accounts Wednesday. In a statement, he says "after spending a lot of time this spring thinking about my NFL future, I have made a decision to retire."
Urlacher was the face of the Bears' franchise and leaves as one of the game's great linebackers. In March, he and the Bears were unable to reach a contract agreement and he became a free agent.
He started 180 games from 2000 through 2012, and recorded a team-record 1,779 tackles. He has 41 1/2 sacks, 22 interceptions, 16 fumble recoveries and 11 forced fumbles. He was the AP's defensive player of the year in 2005 and helped lead the 2006 team to the Super Bowl.
Last year, he was slowed by injuries.