NFL notes • Linebacker spent 13 seasons with Bears.
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Star linebacker Brian Urlacher is calling it a career after 13 seasons with the Chicago Bears.
The eight-time Pro Bowl player announced his retirement on his Twitter account Wednesday. In a statement, he said, "After spending a lot of time this spring thinking about my NFL future, I have made a decision to retire."
"Although I could continue playing, I'm not sure I would bring a level of performance or passion that's up to my standards," he said. "When considering this, along with the fact that I could retire after a 13-year career wearing only one jersey for such a storied franchise, my decision became pretty clear."
Urlacher was the face of the Bears' franchise and leaves as one of the game's great linebackers. In March, he and the Bears were unable to reach a contract agreement and he became a free agent.
He started 180 games from 2000 through 2012, and recorded a team-record 1,779 tackles.
Crabtree has Achilles surgery
The San Francisco 49ers suddenly have a huge void in their receiving corps: Michael Crabtree is sidelined after surgery on his right Achilles tendon.
San Francisco's leading wide receiver underwent surgery Wednesday, though the team is optimistic he will return at some point in 2013. Crabtree had surgery one day after suffering the injury during 7-on-7 drills in an organized team activity.
"Michael Crabtree underwent surgery to repair his Achilles tendon that he tore yesterday," coach Jim Harbaugh said. "Surgery was successful and we do not anticipate it will be season-ending for Michael."
Smith hires Jay-Z
Geno Smith has joined Jay-Z for one big sports and hip-hop collaboration.
The New York Jets rookie quarterback has chosen the rap artist's new Roc Nation Sports to represent him. Smith, who slipped out of the first round last month and fell to the Jets in the second round at No. 39 overall, fired his agents Select Sports shortly after the NFL Draft.