The Bears long and storied history has produced some legendary players. Twenty six players that played a good part of their career with the Chicago Bears have been enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, more than any other franchise. The Bears have also retired the most jersey numbers in the history of the NFL, with 13 receiving the honor. In numerical order; #3 Bronko Nagurski, #5 George McAfee, #7 George Halas, #28 Willie Galimore, #34 Walter Payton, #40 Gale Sayers, #41 Brian Piccolo, #42 Sid Luckman, #51 Dick Butkus, #56 Bill Hewitt, #61 Bill George, #66 Clyde "Bulldog" Turner, and #77 Red Grange.
Who could be the next Bear to see his number retired? Let's look at some possibilities, again in numerical order;
#13 Joe Stydahar - A 4 time All NFL Tackle and a 4 time Pro Bowler, Stydahar missed 2 years while serving in WWII, yet still was elected to Canton. He played on 3 NFL Championship teams and was an assistant coach on another.
#50 Mike Singletary - The premier middle linebacker of his generation, this 1st ballot Hall OF Famer was named to 10 straight Pro Bowls, 7 times named 1st team All Pro, a 2 time Defensive Player Of The Year, and 1990 Walter Payton Man Of The Year. Number 50 hasn't been issued to anyone since Singletary retired.
#57 Olin Kruetz - His leadership is well documented and he's the only 3 time winner of the veteran Brian Piccolo Award. Elected to 6 straight Pro Bowls, once named 2nd team All Pro and once named 1st team All Pro. Olin still has a few years left in him to add to his 151 starts in 159 games as a Bear.
#78 Stan Jones - This Hall of Famer was voted to play in 7 straight Pro Bowls, 3 times named 1st team All Pro, and twice named 2nd team All Pro. Stan never missed a game in his 12 year Bears career, switched to D-Line for his last 3 years in Chicago.
#81 Doug Atkins - Twelve of his 17 year Hall Of Fame career was spent in Chicago, 8 Pro Bowls and 3 times named All NFL including 1st team in 1963. Doug was one of the biggest, strongest, and most vicious players of his day.
#99 Dan Hampton - The most recent Bear to be enshrined in Canton (Class of 2002). Two Pro Bowls as a DE, 2 as a DT, named 1st Team All Pro in 1984. Named to the NFL Team of the 80's.
There's six that could arguably be retired. What does everyone think? What other past or current Bears could have the kind of career to have the ultimate honor bestowed upon them... or do you think 13 retired numbers is enough for the franchise?