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Urlacher denies retirement talk

April 19, 2008 at 1:51 PM

CHICAGO, April 19 (UPI) -- Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher has denied a report he would retire if his contract is not re-negotiated.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported Friday the eight-year veteran wants a new deal.

"I never said that I was going to quit," Urlacher told the Chicago Tribune. "Reports like that are why I choose not to speak to the media."

He has four years left on his existing contract, which will pay him $57 million.

The report added that an unnamed league source said Urlacher's agents have asked the team if they could explore a trade and that he is threatening to retire because of neck and back problems.

He is not participating in voluntary off-season workouts and is threatening to be a hold out at mini-camp in May.

In 2007, he failed to make the Pro Bowl for the first time despite a team-high 158 tackles and being the NFL's first player ever with five sacks and five interceptions in the same season.

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