Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.
Everyone knows that Walter Payton broke Jim Brown’s NFL rushing record. But who held the Bears rushing record before Payton and when did he break it?
Walter Payton became the Bears’ all-time leading rusher Sept. 16, 1979 in a 24-20 loss to the Cowboys in Dallas. It was the third game of his fifth season and the 60th contest of Payton’s illustrious Hall of Fame career. The record of 5,657 yards had previously belonged to Rick Casares, who played 10 seasons with the Bears from 1955-64. Payton, of course, didn’t stop there. In fact, he rushed for more than 10,000 additional yards, setting the all-time NFL rushing record with 16,726 yards.
There has been and no doubt will continue to be a lot of speculation about quarterbacks the Bears could be interested in acquiring this offseason. Can you please provide a list of quarterbacks who are due to become free agents?
Oak Park, Illinois
Quarterbacks from other NFL teams who have been regular starters and are due to become unrestricted free agents when the new league year starts March 17 include Jacoby Brissett (Colts), Andy Dalton (Cowboys), Ryan Fitzpatrick (Dolphins), Joe Flacco (Jets), Nick Mullens (49ers), Cam Newton (Patriots), Dak Prescott (Cowboys), Tyrod Taylor (Chargers) and Jameis Winston (Saints).
Who is in the top 10 in sacks for the Bears all time, and is there anyone on the current team who is close?
Hall of Famer Richard Dent remains the Bears’ all-time leader with 124.5 sacks, followed by Steve McMichael (92.5), Hall of Famer Dan Hampton (57.0), Alex Brown (43.5), Trace Armstrong (42.0), Adewale Ogunleye (42.0), Brian Urlacher (41.5), Jim Flanigan (40.5), Julius Peppers (37.5) and Otis Wilson (36.0). The only current Bears who are within reach of the top 10 are Khalil Mack (30.0) and Akiem Hicks (27.5). By the way, sacks became an official NFL statistic in 1982, which explains why the list is comprised solely of players who were active beginning at that time.
Chalk Talk features fan questions multiple times each week. Email your question to Larry.