Chicago Bears veteran long-snapper Patrick Mannelly has retired.
The 39-year-old played for the Bears for his entire career, a franchise-record 16 seasons and 245 games..
“It’s difficult to talk about Patrick as a player in the past tense,” Bears chairman George H. McCaskey said.. “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 had 81 career special-teams tackles. The Bears went 920 consecutive punts and 180 games without a blocked punt.
He was the special-teams captain and won the Ed Block Courage Award last year.
“Although I have deep respect for Pat’s decision, I’m saddened by it because we are going to lose an extremely high-level leader who had an impact on our team,” general manager Phil Emery said. "Not only from his excellent performance on the field over a very long, sustained and historical amount of time, but in all areas of our team.
"It starts with his leadership in the locker room and him reaching out to other players who need help, to all the work he has done in the community, and the way he carried the Chicago Bears mantle. Any time he was in the public and represented the Chicago Bears, he did it at the highest level possible. We are losing a great person and a great player, one who will always remain a Bear in our hearts.”
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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun