Vikings linked to middle linebacker Brian Urlacher


Nov 25, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher (54) tackles Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) during the second half at Soldier Field. The Bears beat the Vikings 28-10. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Update 10:04 PM: Urlacher scheduled to meet with Vikings.

Out goes Jasper Brinkley, in goes Brian Urlacher?

The Vikings have been in contact with Urlacher’s camp and is “monitoring” the situation, according to Mike Mulligan of the Chicago Tribune.

Per the report, the free agent linebacker is expecting “a deal in the range of the $5.5 million that Ray Lewis earned in his last season with Baltimore.” Minnesota appears to have the cap space to accommodate such a request, while Chicago is cap strapped.

Despite the Bears’ cap situation, the report says the Vikings still believe Urlacher eventually would remain with Chicago.

It is quite possible that Urlacher’s camp is generating interest or that Minnesota is giving Chicago a little bit of their own medicine in an attempt to raise Urlacher’s price. The Bears reportedly were pushing to sign tackle Phil Loadholt Tuesday, ultimately raising Loadholt’s value to over $6 million a season.

Even with skepticism, a Minnesota and Urlacher marriage makes some sense since he would be familiar with the Vikings’ Tampa-2 system and that Minnesota has a hole at middle linebacker with Brinkley likely headed elsewhere in free agency. The Vikings could target a middle linebacker in the upcoming NFL Draft and groom him behind Urlacher for a year or two.