In this week’s episode of Uncut with Jay Cutler, fellow Chicago Bears veteran Brian Urlacher sat down to chat about where he, Cutler and the League are today. And for as many changes as the former linebacker and quarterback have seen in their retirement, it seems that life in the NFL has shifted just as much.
Of course, Cutler and Urlacher are still well into their prime. At 39 and 44 years respectively, the two are still finding ways to push themselves physically and mentally – just not nearly as much as they used to.
For Jay Cutler, that means doing typical Outsider things, like sampling whiskey, trying out the Total Archery Challenge and taking poster-worthy trips to Montana. As for Brian Urlacher, he’s decided to trade his cleats and shoulder pads for a pair of wheels and some knee pads for his new passion – mountain biking. The Pro Football Hall of Famer even has a goal of biking 500 miles a month for a total of 6,000 miles a year. And with a red rock landscape as his backyard in Arizona, he has plenty of trails to explore. Urlacher reported that sometimes, he can drop seven or eight pounds from just one ride.
Now, that’s pretty incredible.
Listen to the full podcast episode here.
Jay Cutler and Brian Urlacher Talk Getting Older and Age of Retirement
The two also spoke about mental health in their years after the NFL, and how even if their bodies can keep up with intense activity, their memory has seen better days. They discussed the possibility of this being a part of Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a condition that pro football players experience from repeated blows to the head. But Urlacher chalked up his less-than-perfect memory to just being a guy.
“Especially as a dude I forget,” Urlacher admitted. “I mean, even before, I have buddies that are my age that didn’t play football that forget your all time. So, I don’t know if it’s just being old.”
Regardless, both Jay Cutler and Brian Urlacher reported still feeling “sharp,” and it’s likely this is because they keep their bodies and minds active.
Coincidentally, the two NFL legends retired at the same age of 34, though Urlacher in 2012 and Cutler in 2017. Even just ten years ago, this was a pretty typical age to exit the League. These days, though, more players are continuing to hit the field well into their 40s.
Not only are they retiring later, but they’re also landing more impressive points. Back when Urlacher was at the top of his career, a 50-yarder was a highlight to be celebrated. Now, kickers are nailing upwards of 60 yards.
Of course, there is a downside to this, as Urlacher has experienced. Following his 13 seasons with the Bears, he found himself missing the routine of the season and the purpose he fulfilled. Most of all, though, he missed the people he worked with both on and off the field.
“I miss being in the locker room and being in the building,” he said. “I was there for 13 years I saw them every day and then bam, they’re gone.”
On Deshaun Watson’s Suspension
Not surprisingly, the two legends still keep up with the latest happenings with the League’s teams and star players. One of the hot-button issues that’s making headlines across sports networks is Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson’s current suspension. Following sexual misconduct allegations against Watson, the League ruled that he was in violation of the personal conduct policy and issued him a six-game suspension.
Both men agreed that the punishment seemed like a “slap on the wrist.”
Cutler pointed out that six games seemed low considering just how many women stepped forward to accuse Watson of sexual misconduct violations. Urlacher agreed but recognized that the issue was a civil case, rather than a criminal case.
“We both know that the NFL is the law anyway,” Urlacher told Cutler.
Cutler and Urlacher’s Take on Bears’ Move From Soldier Field
As former Chicago players, both Cutler and Urlacher have had the opportunity to call Soldier Field their home, Jay for eight seasons and Brian for all of his 13.
Just this year, though, the team has signed a contract that will make Arlington Heights the new stadium for the Chicago Bears. Should the contract be finalized in 2023, the Bears will have a new state-of-the-art stadium with high capacity and a sportsbook.
Of the two, Jay Cutler seemed most excited about the move.
“Right now, Soldier Field is the smallest Stadium in NFL and doesn’t have a dome, and the turf sucks,” he shared.
As for Brian Urlacher, he doesn’t really care where the stadium is, but he does have one request.
“Just don’t put a dome on that thing,” the linebacker said. “They can’t do it.”