Bears giving No. 50 to James Anderson, and Mike Singletary approves

Getty Images

The Bears haven’t retired Mike Singletary’s No. 50, but for the first 20 seasons after his 1992 retirement, the number wasn’t worn by anyone else.

Now, the Bears are giving No. 50 to another linebacker.

James Anderson, who signed with Chicago in the offseason, will wear No. 50, the club’s website reported Tuesday. Anderson wore No. 50 with the Panthers, his former club.

Singletary, a Hall of Famer who starred at middle linebacker for the Bears for more than a decade, is said to have no problem with his number being worn by someone else, the team said.

“He said he wasn’t aware that it hadn’t been assigned, that he’s got no problem with it, and he’s perfectly fine with it,” Bears chairman George McCaskey told the club’s website. “In fact, he would prefer that it be assigned to somebody. He said, ‘I’d rather somebody wear it than see it hanging it up in a window somewhere.”

Anderson told ChicagoBears.com that he knows the importance of the No. 50 jersey in club lore.

“There’s a lot of history behind this number with the Bears, and I’m honored and blessed that they would even consider letting me wear it,” Anderson said.

The 29-year-old Anderson is entering his eighth NFL season, and he has two seasons of 130 tackles or more to his credit.

According to the Bears’ website, this is a matter of the Bears needing the number, as league rules limit linebackers to wearing jersey numbers in the 50s and 90s. The Bears have retired Nos. 51 (Dick Butkus) and 56 (Bill Hewitt).

At present, the Bears’ only unassigned number in the 50s is … drum roll … No. 54.

With drafted rookies and undrafted free agents still to be added to the Bears’ roster, it will be interesting to see what becomes of what was Brian Urlacher’s number.

29 responses to “Bears giving No. 50 to James Anderson, and Mike Singletary approves

  1. Nothing the Bears do will ever surprise me…I recall that George Halas wouldn’t retire Butkus’ number, because the Linebacker had sued the Bears and Team Doctor Ted Fox for a botched Knee surgery. Butkus settled for a reported 600K, which back in those days was worth something…Halas vowed never to retire the number while he was Alive…..
    They have treated Urlacher in such a fashion this year, and now this in respect to Singletary…..no wonder there hasn’t been anything good come from the Bears since the 85 Bears…..just stupid choices like this….and counting on Cutler…..

  2. Well the Bears seem to like ex-Lions today (Fluellen signing). Maybe they should try and lure Chris Spielman out of retirement and give him his old number back. At least he wouldn’t have greedy contract demands.

  3. I’ve never been a big fan of retiring numbers, but I do like seeing big time players jerseys hanging in the rafters. I feel that their numbers should be recognized, but not retired forever. A lot of people would disagree though.

  4. James Anderson Darryl Tapp and DeAngelo Hall played on same high school football team…to see James having the honor of wearing number 50 is unbelievable ….congratulations!! Deep Creek Hornet 4LIFE..!!

  5. Common sense attitude from Singletary, and classy comments from Anderson…To be honest, I was also unaware the #50 was not in rotation.

  6. filthymcnasty1 says: Apr 9, 2013 10:31 PM

    “50 – it’s just another number in Chicago.”

    filthymcnasty1 – It’s just another Packer troll on a Bears thread.

  7. James Anderson deserves to wear #50, he only missed a few games in his 8 years with Carolina, he is a stand up guy. I was a big fan of James Anderson, Bears seem to always get my favorite players.. Peppers, Muhammad and now Anderson.

    Good Luck to James…..

  8. For the past few seasons, linebacker Robert Francois of the Packers has been wearing #49. Let players wear whatever number they want.

  9. How come these constipated azz packers fans aways got something to say about Chicago, Worry about that contract Rodgers is trying to get
    in greenbay.

  10. I guess if singletary has no problem with it then why should anybody else? but…for my two cents I think that when a player plays at such a level that it changes the way we look at a position, or that he defines his position for a generation, it’s a not a bad thing to retire jersey.

  11. This is simple math.

    Bears are running out of numbers!

    Especially at LB.

    Even Butkus said retiring numbers is no biggie.

    So, there you go, from one of the best ever.

    Maybe when other teams are around a 100 years, they’ll understand.

  12. “Hey you, yeah you, the dude who was instrumental in our only Super Bowl win. We’re giving your number to a castoff from another team. You don’t mind, do you?”

  13. Average player wearing a Hall of Famer’s number. However, if Singletary doesn’t have a problem with it, then no one else should.

  14. Well at least its going to James Anderson. Couldn’t think of anything more worthy. If Bears fans are smart they will boo Anderson every time he’s introduced as #50. Singeltary is a Chicago legend and someone who is often portrayed in NFL films that even the younger generation watches as someone who played the game the right way. His number should be retired. A similar situation with the Yankees has happened. Paul O’Neil’s #21 is still unretired and has been issued to various depth players in the past. The fans booed everyone of them and everyone of them has eventually changed their number.

  15. I agree with the people above who say they don’t like numbers being retired. Think of your favorite current player or a past great and their #, would you ever not associate the # with that player? Greatness makes the # “theirs”, retired # or not. No other Bear will ever be #34 for example, even if someone else wears it.

    I get a chuckle out of the thought Anderson could have gotten #54 though. I wish he would have taken that one.

Leave a Reply