Deja vu all over again. 13 years after former Chicago Bears defensive end Richard Dent retired from the National Football League, his name is again surfacing as a finalist for the NFL Hall of Fame. Six out of the last seven years Dent has been tagged for Hall of Fame honors. The last two years, Dent has made it down to the final five nominees, only to fall short.
Playing 12 out of his 15 year NFL career for the Bears, Dent has a franchise high 124.5 sacks (137.5 total). Finishing third on the all time sack list when he retired, Dent is now tied for sixth all time. Only two current hall of famers have more sacks.
Though there are many highlights scattered over Dent’s illustrious 15 year career, some notable achievements include his Bears franchise record 17.5 sack season of 1984, followed by his 17 sack season of 1985 in which Dent helped lead one of the NFL’s all time best defenses to a Super Bowl XX title. A Super Bowl in which #95 would record 1.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and a pass deflection on his way to Super Bowl MVP honors.
The four time Pro Bowler hopes to join teammates Dan Hampton, Walter Payton and Mike Singletary in the Hall of Fame.
Other finalists for the Hall of Fame this year include Jerry Rice, Emmitt Smith, Tim Brown, Cris Carter, Roger Craig, Dermonti Dawson, Russ Grimm, Charles Haley, Rickey Jackson, Cortez Kennedy, John Randle, Andre Reed and Shannon Sharpe.
The Chicago Bears currently have a league high 26 players in the Hall of Fame. Hopefully that number will increase by one come August.