Chicago Bears Countdown to Kickoff: 92 Days with Barry Minter

Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears / Jonathan Daniel/GettyImages

Today's edition of the Chicago Bears Countdown to Kickoff marks 92 days until the start of the 2023 season, meaning that we'll get to look at the life and career of the best player to wear the number 92 in team history, linebacker Barry Minter.

A Mount Pleasant, Texas native, Minter attended Mount Pleasant High School, participating as a three-sport athlete in football, basketball, and track and field. Minter was also a tuba player in his high school marching band, and would even participate in the halftime performance despite suiting up as a player.

Following his high school career, Minter accepted a scholarship at the University of Tulsa, where he would transition from a safety to a linebacker. During the 1989 and 1990 seasons, Minter was primarily a backup, but by his junior season, the player became Tulsa's starting outside linebacker, finishing the 1991 season second on the team in tackles. After a solid senior season, Minter was selected with the 168th overall pick during the 6th round of the 1993 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys.

Barry Minter joined the Chicago Bears after being drafted by Dallas

However, before Minter could suit up for America's team, then head coach Jimmy Johnson traded Minter, and several other players, to the Chicago Bears in exchange for three players. Nonetheless, Minter began his NFL career in 1993 but only logged playing time in two games as a backup.

Barry Minter
Chicago Bears / Jonathan Daniel/GettyImages

In 1994, Minter became more of a contributing player, playing in 13 games while recording one start. Between 1995 and 1996, Minter appeared in all 32 games, while also making 10 total starts. Between both seasons, Minter recorded 111 tackles and 1.5 sacks. By the start of the 1997 season, Minter finally cracked the starting lineup and would go on to play all 48 games as a starter from 1997 to the end of the 1999 season. During this time, Minter would contribute 318 total tackles, averaging 106 per year, along with 10 total sacks.

In 2000, Minter was replaced as the team's starting middle linebacker by rookie middle linebacker Brian Urlacher early in the season and only recorded two starts despite logging playing time in 15 games. Following the 2000 season, Minter was released by the team after eight seasons in Chicago. Minter would eventually sign a one-year deal with the Cleveland Browns but was waived after only one appearance with the team.

Following the 2001 season, Minter failed to return to the NFL, capping off a nine-year NFL career that featured eight seasons with the Bears. Minter finished his Chicago career ranked 40th in team history in sacks and fifth in team history in terms of combined tackles as a Bear.

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Since his retirement, Minter has spent time as a host and anchor for NFL on Fox, ESPN Sunday Night Football, and the NFL on NBC. Today, Minter serves as a Deacon at his local church and remains heavily involved in morning and evening worship, as well as marriage and inspirational ministries.