Chicago Bears

Chicago Bears Announce Top 100 Players of All-Time

Jay Cutler did make the cut, but you may be surprised at where he ranks

As part of the team’s ongoing centennial celebration, the Chicago Bears have unveiled the Top 100 players in franchise history, as voted on by two of the most famous scribes that have ever covered the club.

Hall of Fame writers Don Pierson and Dan Pompei compiled the list, which will appear in the Chicago Bears Centennial Scrapbook.

Not surprisingly, the top player of all-time, according to Pierson and Pompei, is running back Walter Payton, who retired as the all-time leading rusher in NFL history. Payton was named to the NFL’s 75th Anniversary team, had his number 34 jersey retired by the Bears, and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1993.

Linebacker Dick Butkus, fullback Bronko Nagurski, quarterback Sid Luckman, and running back Gale Sayers rounded out the top five on the countdown.

Some Bears fans were surprised to see that linebacker Brian Urlacher, inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame last summer, did not crack the top 10 on the list. He ultimately checked in at number 14 on the all-time list, finishing just behind Dan Hampton, Jimbo Covert, and Richard Dent. 

A total of 37 of the 100 players ranked on the list will be at the Bears100 Celebration Weekend, which is coming up from June 7 to 9 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont.

Here is the full top 25, and fans can visit the Bears’ official website for the other 75 players:

1 Walter Payton – RB

2 Dick Butkus – LB

3 Bronko Nagurski - FB

4 Sid Luckman -QB 

5 Gale Sayers – RB

6 Mike Ditka – TE

7 Bill George - LB

8 Bulldog Turner - OL/LB

9 Doug Atkins - DE

10 Danny Fortmann - OG

11 Dan Hampton – DL

12 Richard Dent - DE

13 Jimbo Covert - OT

14 Brian Urlacher – LB

15 Mike Singletary – LB

16 Bill Hewitt -  FB

17 Stan Jones - OT

18 Jay Hilgenberg - C

19 Steve McMichael - DT 

20 Devin Hester – PR/WR

21 Joe Stydahar - OT

22 George Connor - LB/OT

23 George McAfee - HB

24 Joe Fortunato - LB

25 Ed Sprinkle - OG/DE/TE

Several current Bears made the list, including safety Eddie Jackson, who checked in at number 96, and offensive lineman Kyle Long, who was ranked number 74. Akiem Hicks was also there at number 75, and the highest-ranked current Bear was Khalil Mack, who is already the 60th-best player to ever don a Bears jersey, according to the ranking.

Numerous noteworthy Bears of yesteryear did not make the top 25, including running back Matt Forte, ranked 34th, and linebacker Lance Briggs, who checked in at number 28. Kicker Robbie Gould was selected in the 62nd spot by the writers of the scrapbook.

For those curious, former quarterback Jay Cutler did make the list, checking in at number 85. He ranked just behind former teammates Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall, who ranked 80th and 81st, respectively.

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