Sundays won’t be quite the same for longtime Chicago Bears fans, as veteran long snapper Patrick Mannelly announced his retirement after a record setting 16 seasons with the team. Mannelly contemplated a return for a 17th season, but coming off offseason hip surgery, the 39-year old decided to hang up his cleats instead:
I said I’d listen to my body. And my body’s tapping me on the back and saying, ‘That’s it, bud. I think you’re done.’ So it’s been an awesome 16 years. And I’m fortunate to be able to walk away. People always say that. But I am. The body is just done. Time to move on to other things in life and look forward to the next chapter.
Mannelly holds the Chicago Bears record for games played with 245 and seasons played with 16. No one else played more than 14 season. Mannelly broke Steve McMichael’s record of 191 games played back in 2010. Over his career, he’s made 2282 snaps without a bad one in the bunch. He had 81 tackles on special teams and spent the last six seasons as a captain for the Bears’ special teams. Mannelly was the last remnant of the the Dave Wannstedt era, with his rookie season in 1998 as Wannie’s last. He played through the entire Dick Jauron and Lovie Smith regimes, before departing after one season under Marc Trestman.
Mannelly confirmed his retirement with a simple statement on Twitter, quoting Old School’s Frank the Tank:
— Patrick Mannelly (@PatrickMannelly) June 20, 2014