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Emery essentially closes door on Urlacher, keeps it open on Carimi


Bears G.M. Phil Emery has several players who aren’t currently with the team but whose names continue to come up.

Linebacker Brian Urlacher and offensive lineman Gabe Carimi.

In an appearance with Alex Marvez and Gil Brandt of SiriusXM NFL Radio, Emery addressed the situations involving both players.

“Brian was a great player and still is a great player,” Emery said. “I have the utmost respect for Brian. As I’ve told people before, I’ve got far too many gray hairs to never say never. But obviously we’ve made an investment in terms of bringing a couple of key veterans in and drafting a couple rookies. So I would say that that is less likely to happen than more likely.”

In other, less diplomatic words: It’s ain’t happening.

As to Carimi, Emery emphasized that it’s a “voluntary situation,” even though as a practical matter it’s not.

“Gabe has made a decision that he wants to stay in Arizona and train,” Emery said, “and we respect that. And he’ll be welcomed with open arms when he comes back.”

It’s unclear why Carimi is boycotting offseason workouts. The absences began after a report emerged in the Chicago Tribune that Carimi could be competing not for a position in the starting lineup but a roster spot. Perhaps Carimi is looking for either an assurance that he’ll be on the team, or an accelerated exit.

Regardless, with the reduced offseason workouts permitted by the 2011 labor deal, players don’t stay away without a reason that traces back to unhappiness with his contract, or with his situation.