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With the Loss of Nick Roach, Linebacker Situation is Unclear for the Chicago Bears

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COMMENTARY | The Chicago Bears might need to go hunting for linebackers in the draft.

Reports say that linebacker Nick Roach has been lost to the Oakland Raiders in free agency. Roach isn't a star player, but this hurts.

Roach has been versatile throughout his Bears tenure. He has mostly been a strong side linebacker but has seen time in the middle as well. Roach struggled at times when filling in for Brian Urlacher, but it is still hard to lose a productive player from the best unit on the field last season.

Speaking of Urlacher, the status of future Hall of Famer is in doubt. The Bears have shown little urgency to resign Urlacher and he has drawn some interest from the Vikings and Cowboys. Urlacher is going to be 35 when the season begins and his quickness was lacking last season.

Allowing Roach to walk could mean that the Bears are willing to present a better offer to Urlacher. Personally, I would have tried to find a way to hang on to Roach. He is younger and has been fairly durable during his time with the team. Urlacher has roughly two more years in this league whether he is a Bear or not.

Simply put, there might not be many familiar faces at linebacker this year.

Don't be surprised if the Bears go after a linebacker in the second or third round. Chicago does not have enough cap room to go after a free agent at this point. The Bears suddenly have a need at linebacker that I am not sure how they are going to fill.

As of right now, the offensive line should still be the primary focus for the front office. Bears fans need to prepare themselves for a thin linebacking corps going into 2013.

Tyler Emken is a journalist and midwestern sports enthusiast operating out of central Illinois.

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