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Bears players and numbers: Who wore it best?


We thought it would be interesting and entertaining to post a photo gallery of the best Bears players to wear every uniform number from 1-99.

For most numbers, it's a fairly easy task, especially with so many all-time greats who have played for the Bears. There's no debating numbers like 23 (Devin Hester), 33 (Charles Tillman), 34 (Walter Payton), 40 (Gale Sayers), 42 (Sid Luckman), 51 (Dick Butkus), 77 (Red Grange) and 99 (Dan Hampton).

But there are three numbers in particular that could go either way, so we've decided to let our fans vote to determine who's included in our photo gallery. Voting will end Thursday, March 26th at 12PM CT.

No. 6
Kicker Kevin Butler vs. quarterback Jay Cutler

It's ironic they wore the same number, given that fans could cover the "B" on their Butler jerseys with a "C" and suddenly have a Cutler jersey.

Butler spent his first 11 NFL seasons with the Bears from 1985-95, exiting as the franchise's all-time leading scorer with 1,116 points, a record that has since been broken by Robbie Gould. Selected by the Bears in the fourth round of the 1985 draft out of Georgia, Butler set an NFL rookie record that has since been broken by scoring 144 points for the famed 1985 Super Bowl champions. With the Bears, Butler made 73.2 percent of his field-goal attempts (243 of 332) and 97.5 percent of his extra-point tries (387 of 397).

One of the most polarizing players in team history, Cutler was acquired in a blockbuster trade with the Broncos in 2009 and spent eight seasons with the Bears. During that time he became the franchise's all-time leading passer in attempts (3,271), completions (2,020), yards (23,443), touchdowns (154), completion percentage (61.8), passer rating (85.2) and 300-yard games (16). But Cutler led the Bears to only one playoff appearance in his eight seasons (in 2010) while compiling a 51-51 record in 102 regular-season starts.

No. 17
Safety Richie Petitbon vs. receiver Alshon Jeffery

Coincidentally, the two players were both selected by the Bears in the second round of the draft, Petitbon in 1959 and Jeffery in 2012.

Petitbon spent his first 10 NFL seasons with the Bears from 1959-68, exiting as the franchise's all-time leader with 37 interceptions. (He currently ranks second, one behind safety Gary Fencik.) Petitbon was selected to four Pro Bowls and was voted first-team All-Pro in 1963, when he helped the Bears win the NFL Championship. His 101-yard interception return for a touchdown in 1962 against the Rams remains the longest in Bears history.

Jeffery spent his first five NFL seasons with the Bears and ranks third on the team's all-time receiving list with 4,549 yards, seventh with 304 receptions and ninth with 26 touchdowns. Jeffery was voted to the Pro Bowl in 2013 after catching 89 passes for 1,421 yards and seven touchdowns and followed with 85 receptions for 1,133 yards and 10 TDs in 2014. He also has recorded the two most prolific games by a Bears receiver with 249 yards against the Vikings and 218 yards versus the Saints, both in 2013 contests.

No. 20
Safety Mark Carrier vs. running back Thomas Jones

Selected by the Bears with the sixth overall pick in the 1990 draft out of USC, Carrier played his first seven seasons with the team. Appearing in 109 games with 105 starts, he registered 20 interceptions and 10 forced fumbles. Carrier was voted to three Pro Bowls in his first four years. He was named NFL defensive rookie of the year in 1990 after leading the league and setting a Bears record with 10 interceptions.

Jones played just three seasons with the Bears from 2004-06, but he made a big impact. He ranks sixth on the franchise's all-time rushing list with 3,493 yards, an average of 1,164 yards per year. Jones helped the Bears win back-to-back NFC North championships, rushing for 1,335 yards and nine touchdowns in 2005 and 1,210 yards and six TDs in 2006. He was also a receiving threat out of the backfield, catching 118 passes for 724 yards while starting all 45 games he appeared in over his three seasons with the Bears.