Bears send Mannelly off into the sunset

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Late last week, long time long snapper Patrick Mannelly announced his retirement after 16 seasons all with the Bears. He finishes as the franchise’s longest tenured player and had plenty of well wishes from the organization.

“It’s difficult to talk about Patrick as a player in the past tense,” said Bears chairman George H. McCaskey. “He played more seasons than any other Bear. He played in more games than any other Bear. And every season, every game, he was a pro’s pro. He was a captain, someone his teammates looked up to and sought guidance, direction and inspiration, and he provided it.

Our family is very grateful for all he has done. Not just for the way he’s played on the field, but the way he has carried himself off the field. He’s the epitome of what a Chicago Bear is all about. We’ll miss having him in uniform and wish him the best.”

Mannelly was an instant starter as a rookie back in 1998. He served as a special-teams captain in every season since 2008. He won four division championships (2001, 2005, 2006, 2010) and one NFC Championship (2006).

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