UCLA Football: Former Bruins TE Extends Own NFL Record

The 2022 UCLA Athletics Hall of Famer continues to impress as a pro.
Oct 1, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears tight end Marcedes Lewis (84) makes a catch against the Denver Broncos during the second half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 1, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears tight end Marcedes Lewis (84) makes a catch against the Denver Broncos during the second half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports / Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports
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Former two-time All-Pac-10 UCLA Bruins tight end Marcedes Lewis is shattering an NFL record for longevity at his position... his own.

The 6-foot-6, 265-pound former All-Pro, 40, just inked a deal to play with the Chicago Bears for what will be his 19th NFL season. Last year, his first with Chicago, he broke the prior all-time record for a tight end of 17 NFL seasons played, set initially by Jason Witten and Tony Gonzalez and tied by Lewis during his final season playing for Chicago's fiercest rival, the Green Bay Packers.

Lewis isn't just continuing his career to set records, however. Even in his dotage, he remains a productive contributor on the field.

After being a starter for most of his career, he was reduced to a reserve role during his debut season with Chicago, starting in four games as a blocker but appearing in all 17, during a lost 7-10 season for the Bears pre-Caleb Williams. He caught four receptions for a total of 29 yards, and did record one touchdown.

During a storied 2002-05 run with UCLA, Lewis notched a total of 126 receptions (a record for the position at UCLA) for 1,571 yards (also a record) and 21 touchdowns, all records for his position. He was a consensus All-American and All-Pac-10 First Teamer during his senior year in 2005 (he was also an All-Pac-10 Second Teamer as a junior in 2004), and also claimed the John Mackey Award, which honors college football's best tight end for a given year. He was inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame in 2022 for his play.

Lewis was initially drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars with the No. 28 pick near the end of the 2006 NFL Draft's first round. He's the only player from that class who's still playing. He made his lone Pro Bowl and All-Pro teams while with the Jaguars in 2010. After more than a decade in Jacksonville, he next played for the Packers from 2018-22, and now seems primed to finish his career with Chicago.

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Alex Kirschenbaum

ALEX KIRSCHENBAUM

Alex likes slam dunks, take him to the hoop. His favorite play is the alley-oop.