The longest-tenured player in Bears history isn’t being shown the door by Phil Emery, a la Brian Urlacher and Julius Peppers over these past two off-seasons. Matter of fact, the general manager has shown how much he’s a fan of Patrick Mannelly by referring to him as the “Eighth Wonder of the World.” But because the 16-year veteran long snapper is coming off hip surgery and apparently needs more time to gauge whether a 17th is in the cards, the club signed CFL veteran Chad Rempel late Monday afternoon following a workout at Halas Hall.
The 31-year-old Rempel has suited up for five different clubs in the Canadian League, including Marc Trestman’s Montreal Alouettes in 2008 and 2009. In an unusual positional quirk, he’s also played some wide receiver, with 22 catches (283 yards, two touchdowns) throughout his career north of the border. Oh, and five years ago, Rempel was part of Canada’s national champion four-man bobsled team.
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Mannelly’s 245 games played is a Bears franchise record, remaining with the club since being selected in the sixth round of the 1998 draft. He could shed more light on his health and future when he receives the Ed Block Courage Award Tuesday at Maryville Academy in Des Plaines. The honor’s given to a member of each NFL team annually, who best exemplifies a commitment to sportsmanship and courage, and serves as an inspiration in the locker room, as voted by his teammates. The 38-year-old is currently an unrestricted free agent, but has said if he’s healthy enough to return, he’d want it to be with the Bears.
The Rempel signing marks the second straight day Emery signed a snapper, after reaching terms with ex-Saints center Brian de la Puente Sunday to back up Roberto Garza.