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By: Brendan Sugrue
Three Chicago Bears legends are officially on their way to football immortality. Return specialist Devin Hester, defensive end Julius Peppers, and defensive tackle Steve “Mongo” McMichael were all named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2024 during the NFL Honors night on Thursday. The three players will be enshrined in Canton, Ohio, this August.
Hester goes into the Hall of Fame in his third year of eligibility after being a finalist the last two years. The legendary Bears return specialist changed the game when he was drafted in 2006, setting various records for both kickoff and punt returns throughout his career. The former All-Pro holds records for most career return touchdowns (20), most career punt return touchdowns (14), and most return touchdowns in a single season (6). He also made both the 2000s and 2010s All-Decade Teams. Hester played for the Bears from 2006 to 2013.
Peppers, meanwhile, spent the majority of his career with the Carolina Panthers but was a Bear for four seasons from 2010 to 2013. He earned First-Team All-Pro honors in 2010 and made three Pro Bowls while with the Bears, helping lead them to the 2010 NFC Championship game. Peppers has the fifth-most sacks in NFL history with 159.5, 37.5 of which came with the Bears. He made the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.
Last but not least, McMichael goes in as a senior member of the Hall of Fame. He was voted as a finalist over the summer and was all but guaranteed a spot in Canton. Now it finally comes to fruition. McMichael, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2021, spent 13 of his 15 years in the NFL with the Bears. McMichael totaled 92.5 career sacks, was named First-Team All-Pro twice and Second-Team All-Pro three times and played a crucial role on the 1985 Super Bowl defense. McMichael is now the sixth member of that vaunted team to make it to the Hall of Fame.
Hester, Peppers, and McMichael are joined by Dwight Freeney, Andre Johnson, Randy Gradishar and Patrick Willis.
Originally Posted On Bears Wire