It is becoming more and more real by the day that the Chicago Bears truly are preparing for life without Brian Urlacher. While most of the free agent starting linebacker options have been snatched up by other teams, the Bears could likely be looking towards the NFL draft later this month to fill the void left by the unsigned Urlacher and so they have scheduled a visit with Kansas State's Arthur Brown.
Urlacher has manned the middle of the Chicago defense since 2000, being named to the Pro Bowl eight times and winning the 2005 NFL AP Defensive Player of the Year award. But now entering his age 35 season, the Bears have not re-signed the free agent coming off of a down year with just 53 solo tackles in twelve games. After registering 32.5 sacks over his first six seasons, Urlacher managed just nine sacks in the last seven years.
Many mock drafts have had the Bears replacing Urlacher with the 20th overall pick in this month's draft, including Brown as a common selection. After having started his career at the University of Miami (FL), Brown totaled 100 tackles for the Wildcats last season, with two interceptions, a sack, and a recovered fumble while being named as the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. It could also earn him a trip to play for one of the most storied defenses in professional football history and the honor of replacing a future Hall of Famer.
But first, they have to meet. They are now officially scheduled to do that this month.