And just like that, after 13 seasons as a Bear, he was gone.
Today the Bears parted ways with center Olin Kreutz after a stellar Chicago career that ended after 183 starts, one short of Walter Payton’s Bears record of 184.
Former Seahawk Chris Spencer has been signed to a two-year contract to replace the Bears legend.
I say it all the time in every day life, there is nobody that can’t be replaced. It does seem like such a shame to see Kreutz’s career end on such a sour note. On a personal level, I was at Bears training camp in Platteville, WI in 1998, in the days that the crowds had thinned thanks to the death spiral into which Dave Wannstedt had plunged the team. I met Kreutz, got an autograph (on something…what I don’t remember) and told him Bears fans had high hopes for him. His first words were that he had stiff competition in veteran center Casey Wiegmann, and indeed Wiegmann held the job for most of Kreutz’ rookie season.
But since 2002, no other player has lined up at center for the Bears. But it’s over now. We wish Kreutz the best and predict he’ll be entering our Chicago Bears Ring of Honor soon.