LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- New Chicago Bears coach John Fox said Monday that the organization plans "to make things right" with former middle linebacker Brian Urlacher.
Urlacher has been estranged from the franchise since March 2013, when contract negotiations with former general manager Phil Emery fell apart.
"I know Brian, and we are going to make things right with him," Fox said. "I'm excited about meeting with him. Both [new Bears GM] Ryan [Pace] and I are.
"I've not talked to Brian in a while. I've gathered whatever it was [that caused the rift] ... and our experience has been to reach out [to former players and coaches]. With ex-players, I think it's important to build that relationship. I can't speak for him. I wasn't even here. I'm ignorant to that. I just know that Ryan and I are going to reach out and spend some time."
Urlacher, an eight-time Pro Bowler, turned down a one-year, $2 million offer, which included $1 million in guarantees, from the Bears following the 2012 regular season. His agent countered, but the Bears failed to budge and essentially issued a take-it-or-leave-it ultimatum.
When Urlacher's camp balked, the Bears hastily released a statement where Emery said the decision to move on was a mutual one.
Urlacher later accused the Bears of negotiating in bad faith during an appearance on ESPN 1000's Waddle and Silvy Show.
"It got a little personal there at the end, just because I think I have so much passion for the team," Urlacher said then. "I wanted to be a Bear. I wanted to play here and finish my career here, and I think that's what kind of made me mad too.
"The Bears kept saying, 'We want to make Brian a Bear, retire a Bear, blah, blah, blah.' It was all lip service in my mind. They said that, but they never acted on it. It was like they all had a handbook on how to handle the situation they passed out around there."
Urlacher officially announced his retirement two months after the ordeal.
Fox said he also expects to contact former head coach Mike Ditka, the franchise's second-winningest coach (106-62) behind team founder George Halas.
Ditka recently returned to Halas Hall after a nearly 20-year hiatus as an invited guest of former Bears coach Marc Trestman.
"I'm going to reach out to Mike Ditka," Fox said. "Mike is a friend, and we haven't talked in a while. I've banged into him every once in a while in Florida. He understands Chicago at this point way better than I do. I'd be crazy not to."