We’re heading into the dog days of the offseason, counting the days until the Chicago Bears 2014 season kicks off. Thanks to Bear Goggles On contributor and the fine editor of Blackhawk Up Keith Schultz’s suggestion, we’re going to do a Top 100 list of the all time Chicago Bears. It’s a fun way to pass the time and take a stroll down memory lane.
Next up in the Top 100 is #68, wide receiver Marty Booker. Booker was drafted in the third round of the 1999 NFL Draft. If you throw out the Bears’ first two picks (Cade McNown and Russell Davis), they had a pretty decent draft, adding Booker, Warrick Holdman, Rosevelt Colvin and Jerry Azumah in the draft class. Booker was one of three wide receivers chosen by the Bears, joining D’Wayne Bates (3rd round) and Sulecio Sanford (7th round).
Booker eased his way into the Bears lineup, only snaring 19 catches for nearly 220 yards and three TD’s as a rookie. What did you expect, he had Shane Matthews, Jim Miller and Cade McNown throwing the ball to him. Booker really hit his stride in his third and fourth seasons, when he posted back to back 1000+ yard seasons. In 2002, Booker earned a trip to the Pro Bowl and an All Pro selection.
With a big need for help at defensive end, the Bears decided to “sell high” and traded Booker to the Miami Dolphins in a package deal to bring Adewale Ogunleye, another sell high player himself, to the team. Booker had limited success in his four seasons with the Dolphins, averaging about 50 catches and 650 yards per season. It’s OK, Ogunleye didn’t live up the high expectations the Bears had for him either.
After four years in Miami, Booker brought his talents back to the Bears as a free agent in 2008, signing a 2-year $3.5 million deal, but proved that you can’t go home again. He only had 14 catches for 211 yards and 2 TD’s in his second stint with the Beloved. But all in all, Booker had 329 catches for 3895 yards and 25 TD’s in his Bears career. That’s good for 5th in franchise history in receptions, 6th in receiving yardage and 8th in receiving touchdowns. That’s good enough to rank Booker 68th in our Chicago Bears Top 100 list.
What do you think of the ranking? Too high? Too low? I guess you’ll have to check back to see who finished ahead of him to judge for yourself. We’ll be counting down a different person each day as we inch our way to the September 7th season opener.