On the surface, pursuing Brian Urlacher might sound like a good idea for the Vikings. They let Jasper Brinkley go in free agency, so they have a need for a middle linebacker. They were a playoff team last year, so attempting to upgrade at the position -- even if it is a temporary fix -- makes some sense. Even USA Today calls Minnesota "the ideal landing spot" for Urlacher.
Even his messy end with the Bears -- "It got a little personal there at the end," Urlacher said Thursday, "just because I think I have so much passion for the team. I wanted to be a Bear. I wanted to play here, finish my career here. I think that's what made me mad, too" -- makes Minnesota good fit because he could stick it to Chicago twice a year, a la Brett Favre.
Given all that, we could start talking ourselves into Urlacher. But ...
He will be 35 when the season starts. He hasn't recorded a single sack in the last two seasons. And yes, while pass coverage is a coveted skill he possesses, even that is starting to erode with age plus wear-and-tear.
Unless the Vikings could get him on the kind of deal the Bears offered -- one that he felt was an insult, at $2 million for one year and only $500K guaranteed -- it's just not worth it. You don't build long-term by trying quick fixes. He would be a name to get the fans excited, and he might make a few big plays, but he has a short shelf life while the Vikings are building for something bigger. The Vikings are almost certainly better off drafting a new linebacker with one of their two first round picks -- even if they wind up with a media circus via the one with a fake girlfriend.