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Bears LB Urlacher announces retirement

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CHICAGO (AP) - Star linebacker Brian Urlacher says he's retiring after spending 13 seasons with the Chicago Bears.

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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.

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