As the lockout rolls through its fourth month, there have been numerous media outlets offering best-of lists for NFL teams and players.
Devin Hester, Julius Peppers, Lance Briggs and Brian Urlacher have received a lot of love on those lists. Yet FOX is rewinding a bit and asking fans to rate the all-time greatest players for each NFL team.
The Bears franchise has been existence from the moment the NFL became an official entity, so to pare down the choices to just five players leaves out many worthy candidates. Yet the players FOX chose all can be considered the best to ever wear the navy and orange. Here is a summary of the Bears' candidates:
Walter Payton (66 percent of the votes)
"Sweetness" is considered by many as one of the best, if not the best, running back to ever play the game. Not the biggest or fastest player, Payton worked harder than the vast majority of his contemporaries. He never ran out of bounds, always delivering a hit to the defender. His prowess as a runner, receiver and passer made him a triple threat out of the backfield. He finished his career as the all-time leading rusher in NFL history (16,726 yards). He rushed for more than 20,000 yards in his 13-year career, all in Chicago. He made nine Pro Bowl appearances and was a first-ballot Hall of Famer in 1993. Unfortunately, he left us all far too soon, dying of liver failure in 1999 at the age of 45.
Featured fan comment: "Power, tenacity, vision, instinct, durability, charity, intelligence, Payton possesed every skill associated with greatness, on and off the field. Certainly the best Bear, if not one of the best players in NFL history, and a truly outstanding human being. R.I.P Sweetness."
LB Dick Butkus
Focus On Sports/Getty
Dick Butkus (22 percent)
Quite possibly the most fearsome player ever to play in the NFL, Butkus made a living from scaring the life out of his opponents. As a middle linebacker, he took pride in trying to knock opposing players off the field. The stories of his on-field persona are the stuff of legend. He played nine seasons in the NFL, earning eight Pro Bowl appearances. The Associated Press once ranked Butkus the fifth-best player in the history of the NFL, making him an easy first-ballot choice for the Hall of Fame in 1979.
Featured fan comment: "The GREATEST, HARDEST- HITTING and MOST FEARED MLB to ever play in the NFL. BUTKUS is SECOND to NONE! He would have played the game for free. Which they practically did in those days. BUTKUS enjoyed PUTTING PAIN on other players. Knocking them out was part of the game in his day."
Gale Sayers (8 percent)
Sayers was as smooth a runner the game has ever seen. Whether as a running back or kick returner, no one played the game with such grace. His speed and elusiveness were unmatched during his time. A catastrophic knee injury cut his career short, yet what he accomplished during his short stint in the NFL has gone unrivaled. Sayers led the NFL in return yards each of his first three seasons, averaging more than 30 yards each time, including an astounding 37.7 yards in 1967. He also led the league in rushing twice, yards per game three times and total yards from scrimmage once. He was a five-time first-time All-Pro and four-time Pro Bowler. He was voted in the Hall of Fame in 1977.
Featured fan comment: "Many people forget just how great Sayers was. He only played 5 seasons and is still considered one of the 5 best running backs whoever played. Before the grace of Barry Sanders there was the breathtaking artistry of Gale Sayers."
Mike Singletary (2 percent)
"Samurai Mike" played all 12 of his NFL seasons in Chicago. He was named to 10 Pro Bowls and was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year twice (1985 and 1988). Singletary was known for his intensity on the field, his eyes often bulging out of his head with anticipation for the upcoming play. He was a hard hitter and one of the most intelligent linebackers to ever play the game. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1998.
Featured fan comment: "Toughest choices for me for any team- he personified the Bears."
Sid Luckman (2 percent)
Luckman is widely considered the greatest quarterback in Chicago's long history. He led the Bears to four NFL Championships in just 12 years, including the 73-0 rout of the Washington Redskins in the 1940 title game. He was named league MVP in 1943, throwing 28 touchdowns in only 10 games, including the first 400-yard game in league history. He holds virtually every passing record in Chicago's history despite never playing in more than 12 games and throwing more than 230 passes just once. He was named to the Hall of Fame in 1965.
Featured fan comment: "The only truly great quarterback in Bears history."
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Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport com. To read him every day, visit BearReport com and become a Chicago Bears insider.