“After spending a lot of time this spring thinking about my NFL future, I have made a decision to retire,” Urlacher wrote. “Although I could continue playing, I’m not sure I would bring a level of performance or passion that’s up to my standards. 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. I want to thank all of the people in my life that have helped me along the way. I will miss my teammates, my coaches, and the great Bears fans. I’m proud to say that I have all of you everything I had every time I took the field. I will miss this great game, but I leave it with no regrets.”
The eight-time Pro Bowler played his entire career in Chicago, and was the face of the organization for many years. He and the Bears were unable to reach an agreement on a contract this offseason and he became a free agent.
Urlacher recorded a franchise-record 1,779 tackles in 182 games between 2000 and 2012. He also had 41.5 sacks, 22 interceptions, 16 fumble recoveries and 11 forced fumbles in his career.
The ninth overall pick in the 2000 NFL draft was the 2000 AP Defensive Rookie of the Year, the 2005 AP Defensive Player of the Year and a first-team All-Pro four times. He helped lead the Bears to the Super Bowl in 2007.
Radio City Music Hall, the home for the draft, will be hosting an Easter show in April, which led to the need for the switch. Goodell emphasized that the league is happy with its experiences with Radio City Music Hall.
“We think we have found a location in New York that meets our requirements and where we think we can continue to grow the event,” he said.
Goodell said he expects the draft to remain in May and that adjustments to the NFL’s calendar will be discussed with the players’ union. There could also be adjustments made to the dates for the NFL combine and the start of free agency.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the changes being discussed would have the league year starting before the combine beginning in 2015. The NFLPA is looking to give free agents a chance to find new teams sooner with the change.
While Goodell can set the date of the draft without the NFLPA’s approval, he said he wanted to be sure that the union signed off on any changes to the league schedule or the draft to maintain league harmony.
The contract includes a $700,000 signing bonus and could be worth as much as $4.3 million in 2013. It is a deal that will make Raiders fans happy, as many of them staked out at the team’s facility Tuesday urging him to sign with the team.
The Raiders had a hole at free safety after releasing seven-year veteran Michael Huff. With the signing of Woodson, Oakland has added a player who can fill that hole while working with first-round pick D.J. Hayden at cornerback.
The 36-year-old was the fourth overall pick in the 1998 draft and spent eight seasons with Oakland before signing with the Packers as a free agent. After seven seasons with Green Bay, Woodson was released Feb. 15 with two years remaining on his contract.
Woodson has 55 career interceptions, 17 sacks, 24 forced fumbles and 11 interception returns for touchdowns in 206 career games. He recorded one interception in seven games last season after intercepting seven passes in 15 games in 2011.
Terry Francona joins the Dennis and Callahan Show to discuss his first-place Indians team as well as his time in Boston. The former Boston manager also touches on his recent book co-authored by Dan Shaughnessy and Shaughnessy's recent dust-up with David Ortiz.
Our afternoon host Mike Salk was offended at Gerry and Kirk's conversation on his favorite band Rush, the guys responded.
[0:01:45] ... eliminate the -- as a Jerry said yesterday you go to some highschool you know concert ever dance -- band shows -- you leave you say these pathetic if it was clearly a ban that belongs in the studio where they can challenge that -- that's. Yet at some where residents work with them at their elect. This alive. Their their huge hit that they as The Who who introduced him anyway forget the guy who introduced him and he was really sing -- -- -- is obviously he said the second. Biggest following and The GratefulDead puck in the world and the can you follow that and literally followed them and watch them live. I watch for ten ... [0:05:24] ... know but that's OK I mean there was for phonies like like ACDC's and one for people like him. And in -- think this is a tree I thought you said Kirk was the one ... [0:06:01] ... to any public direct really liked it and get Andy. And yeah. Highschool kids Nokia now there are simply a girl go near it the cryptic woman inside the arm. Happen any -- What -- ... [0:06:45] ... thousand dollars and our national contest Sean for Jonas right after that TerryFrancona at 935 -- shall. ...
Barry joined the program to break down the Bruins game three win over the Rangers. Barry discussed the great play of the fourth line.
[0:00:10] ... aria. I'm -- -- I don't know what I thought new York NewYorkRangers I can't even say today. I expect. Lundqvist played better in game four -- -- I don't think he can now -- ... [0:01:08] ... like the Bruins were much more under control. And forceful -- the NewYorkRangers were. -- drill collective wrenches to you Baird looked like a poorly coached team. I don't know the point coached and I ... [0:02:20] ... with four lines are specialty teams we're going to have solid goaltending. AndyRam through the league and I think you're starting to see some of that with the dimension that these young defensemen have brought ... [0:03:20] ... power play was as bad as it was last night for the NewYorkRangers. You not only do you not score goals but like we've been talking about all year long you just -- All the ...
WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Red Sox at White Sox, 8:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Reds at Mets, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Yankees at Orioles, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB: Cubs at Pirates, 7 p.m. (WGN)
NBA playoffs: Pacers at Heat, 8:30 p.m. (TNT)
NHL playoffs: Penguins at Senators, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
AROUND THE WEB:
Sergio Garcia's joke Tuesday night about Tiger Woods did not go over well. (AP)
♦ The Tiger Woods-Sergio Garcia feud hit a new low Tuesday when Garcia joked that he would invite Woods over for dinner during the U.S. Open and “serve fried chicken.”
Garcia made the comment during the European Tour’s awards dinner, when the subject of his relationship with Woods was introduced. Garcia later released an apology through the European Tour.
“I apologise for any offense that may have been caused by my comment on stage during The European Tour Players’ Awards dinner,” the statement read. “I answered a question that was clearly made towards me as a joke with a silly remark, but in no way was the comment meant in a racist manner.”
During The Players Championship at Sawgrass two weeks ago, Garcia accused Woods of disturbing him while Garcia was hitting a shot. Woods went on to win the tournament as Garcia faded, and the two later exchanged insults about the incident.
♦ The Cavaliers won the NBA draft lottery Tuesday night for the second time in three years, and there’s already speculation that they might trade the pick. Cleveland has two first-round picks, two second-round picks and plenty of cap space. Combine that with the fact that this draft is not considered especially strong, and the Cavs are likely to listen to offers while they continue their rebuilding process since losing LeBron James to the Heat three years ago.
“It’s so long already. I know it is only three years, but in NBA years it’s like dog years. It seems like it is 15 or 20 years,” Cavs owner Dan Gilbert said. “We’ve been just so focused on building the team the last few years, I can’t look back. There is nothing you can do. I am just happy about today.”
Everett product Nerlens Noel, still recovering from a torn ACL he suffered during his freshman season at Kentucky, is expected to be the No. 1 pick.
♦ The Yankees and English soccer power Manchester City will join forces to own a Major League Soccer expansion team that will enter the league in 2015. The team, which will be called the New York City Football Club, will be controlled by Manchester City, with the Yankees reportedly holding a stake between 20 and 25 percent.
“They’ll be running all the soccer. We know our way around New York, how to get things done,” Yankees president Randy Levine said.
The main issue for now appears to be where the team will play. The city has been pushing Flushing as a site for a stadium, although that might require some cooperation from the Mets, who could be ask to share the parking lots for Citi Field.
The team will need a temporary home until its stadium is constructed. New Yankee Stadium hosted two soccer matches last summer and is the site for an exhibition Saturday between Manchester City and Chelsea.
“Yankee Stadium is an option, as are many places,” Levine said.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On May 22, 1988, the Celtics and Hawks staged one of the most memorable playoff games in history, with Larry Bird and Dominique Wilkins trading baskets in the fourth quarter of a 118-116 Boston victory in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. Lost in the performance of Wilkins (47 points) and Bird (34), a guard for each team finished with a double-double. Which Hawk had 16 points and 18 assists, and which Celtic had 13 points and 10 assists?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “The Toronto series, I didn’t think our team was in the zone the way it is right now. I anticipate — knowing my team — that we’re going to come out the same next game and certainly not be the Jekyll and Hyde team that we were in the first round.” – Bruins coach Claude Julien, after Tuesday’s 2-1 victory over the Rangers gave the B’s a 3-0 series lead
‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): Here’s the latest from Manny Ramirez in Taiwan. He loses his balance after fouling off a pitch and takes a number of steps backward, drawing a comparison to Michael Jackson‘s moonwalk from a Taiwan TV show.
While players from the English soccer team Chelsea participate in a ceremony at midfield after the season-ending game, the son of goalie Ross Turnbull, toddler Josh Turnbull, dribbles a ball down the field and into the goal, much to the delight of the fans.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Doc Rivers and Danny Ainge
SOOTHING SOUNDS: Catie Curtis was born on this day in 1965.