Patrick Mannelly Retires, Ending 16 Year Chicago Bears Career

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Nov 24, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; Chicago Bears long snapper Patrick Mannelly (65) runs on the field prior to the game against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports

The void of Mannelly’s leadership will probably be the hardest to fill:

"“Although I have deep respect for Pat’s decision, I’m saddened by it because we are going to lose an extremely high-level leader who had an impact on our team,” Bears General Manager Phil Emery said. “Not only from his excellent performance on the field over a very long, sustained and historical amount of time, but in all areas of our team. It starts with his leadership in the locker room and him reaching out to other players who need help, to all the work he has done in the community, and the way he carried the Chicago Bears mantle. Any time he was in the public and represented the Chicago Bears, he did it at the highest level possible. We are losing a great person and a great player, one who will always remain a Bear in our hearts.”"

Mannelly’s departure will probably have the biggest impact on placekicker Robbie Gould, who’s among the leaders in FG accuracy all time in large part because of Mannelly.  With his long snapper and holder (Adam Podlesh was released a couple of months ago) gone, Gould will have to break in new battery mates for PAT’s and field goals.

The holder will most likely be rookie punter Pat O’Donnell while the long snapper job now becomes an interesting training camp battle.  CFL veteran Chad Rempel has a lot more mileage, but it’s mostly been in the Canadian league, while Brandon Harston spent time with Mannelly in training camp last summer.

The current active leader in games played by the Chicago Bears is linebacker Lance Briggs with 165, but it’s a longshot that he’d get another 80 games or 5 seasons in the Navy and Orange.  Kicker and close Mannelly friend Robbie Gould, with 138 games played and at age 31, has the best chance to beat Mannelly’s record.

Thanks for the memories Pat!  Best wishes in your retirement!