Chicago Bears: 5 players who belong in the Bears ‘Hall of Shame’

Chicago Bears (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bears, Cade McNown
Chicago Bears, Cade McNown /

Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Daniel/ALLSPORT

Chicago Bears Hall of Shame Inductee No. 1: Cade McNown, QB (1999–2000)

Drafted: 1st round, 12th overall (1999)

"Career stats with Chicago Bears:  15 games started;25 games played; 3-12-0 record; 281/515, (54.6% completion); 3111 yards; 16 TDs; 19 INTs; 14 fumbles"

Before writing this, I didn’t know much about Cade McNown. And after reading a lot about him, I kind of wish it stayed that way.

When looking up the definition of a bust, unfortunately for McNown, he fits the definition almost verbatim.

In his two-season career with the Chicago Bears, and the NFL, McNown struggled mightily.

After an impressive college career at UCLA, McNown had earned the following awards and recognitions:

  • Heisman Trophy finalist
  • Consensus All-American
  • Johnny Unitas Award
  • Pop Warner Trophy
  • Pac 10 Co-Offensive Player of the Year
  • Second Team All-Pac-10
  • First Team All-Pac-10
  • Cotton Bowl MVP
  • Senior Bowl MVP
  • Rose Bowl Hall of Fame

However, it’s what happened after college that earned him the title of “Biggest bust in Chicago Bears history”.

Since his time with Chicago was so short, there isn’t much to say other than he was not good at playing quarterback in the NFL. The biggest hindsight issue that a lot of people have was the company in which McNown was drafted with: names like Daunte Culpepper and Champ Bailey (who was selected with the pick Chicago traded to move down to No. 12) usually rise to the top.

Without the easy reason of hindsight that might’ve caused McNown to land here on a lot of peoples’ Chicago Bears bust lists, a main contributor was just the awful play on the field. Having a record of 3-12-0 can usually paint the picture for what went wrong, but with McNown, it was more of: “What could go right?” 

Not only was Cade McNown considered a bust after being drafted No. 12 in the 1999 NFL Draft, but he was then traded to the Miami Dolphins along with a seventh-round pick, all for a sixth-round pick. For those that don’t fully understand how trades work in the NFL, you don’t usually want to trade your first-round draft pick for a sixth-round pick.

To say the former 12th-round pick didn’t pan out is quite an understatement.