4 former Chicago Bears headline 2024 Hall of Fame candidates

Chicago Bears-Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears-Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports /
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The 2023 Hall of Fame class was announced during last Thursday’s NFL Honors show, and two Chicago Bears, Devin Hester and Jared Allen, unfortunately, missed the cut after being nominated to the group of finalists.

Only five modern players were selected to enter the Hall of Fame this year, including cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Ronde Barber, offensive tackle Joe Thomas, and linebackers Zach Thomas and DeMarcus Ware. Fortunately, both former Chicago Bears will be eligible again for consideration in 2024, and their resumes make them strong candidates next year.

Chicago Bears legend Devin Hester deserves a Hall of Fame spot

Devin Hester is the NFL’s best kick returner ever, as he is the leading return scorer and punt return scorer with 5 and 14 touchdowns respectively. Hester started his career in Chicago with two straight seasons with five or more total return touchdowns.

His time with the Bears was highlighted by numerous plays that will be forever remembered in NFL history — including a game-winning 83-yard punt return touchdown against the Cardinals in 2006 that fueled the infamous Dennis Greene “the Bears were who we thought they were” post-game rant, two separate games with multiple return touchdowns, and a 108-yard return against the Giants following a missed field goal.

One of Hester’s biggest career moments came at the beginning of Super Bowl 41 when the University of Miami product set a record for the quickest touchdown in Super Bowl history after returning the opening kickoff for a score.

Jared Allen’s career with the Chicago Bears was more like a blip on a radar

Jared Allen’s time in Chicago is a little less memorable, as the former Chief and Viking played only 18 games over a season and a half for the Bears before being eventually traded to the Panthers. In those 18 games, Allen recorded 5.5 sacks and 7 tackles for loss — all of which came in the 2014 season.

Unfortunately, Allen was traded the following season after the defense moved from a 4-3 to a 3-4 base front — making him a tougher fit for Chicago’s new schemes. However, his time as a whole in the NFL certainly deserves Hall of Fame consideration, as the Idaho State product finished his career with the 16th-most sacks and the fourth-most tackles for loss ever.