A look back at Chicago Bears wide receiver Marty Booker
This is one of many segments here at ChiCitySports.com looking back at players who have helped contribute to the success of their respective teams. Specifically in this article, we will be looking at wide receiver Marty Booker who played for the Chicago Bears from 1999-2003 then again in 2008.
Booker started his career with the Chicago Bears after attending the University of Lousiana-Monroe where he was a three-year starter. The Chicago Bears drafted Booker in the third round of the 1999 NFL draft, 78th overall.
In Booker’s rookie season, he started four of the nine games catching 19 passes for 219 yards and three touchdowns. Other than Willie Gault in 1983, he became the first Bears rookie to register a 100-yard receiving game. Booker also combined with Marcus Robinson and became the 15th tandem to record 100-yard receiving games in the same contest in Bears’ history.
In 2000 Booker started seven of the 15 games he played finishing third on the team with 47 receptions for 490 yards and two touchdowns. He was inactive for the New York Giants game on September 17th because of a shoulder injury, but on September 24th against the Detroit Lions, he started his streak of 82 straight games with a reception.
During the 2001 season, Marty Booker started in all 16 games and set a Bears-single season reception record with 100, breaking Johnny Morris’ record of 93 that was set in 1964, and it was ranked second in the NFC; sixth in the NFL. He totaled 1,071 receiving yards, becoming the seventh receiver in Bears’ history to post a 1,000-yard receiving season.
In 2002 Marty Booker earned the first Pro Bowl berth of his career as he accumulated 97 receptions for 1,189 yards and six touchdowns. He was the first Bears wide receiver to earn Pro Bowl status in 30 years, Dick Gordon being the last one who received this status as well in 1972. His reception total was second in team history only trailing his 100 catches in 2001, while his yard total was the fourth-best single-season figure.
Booker continued to be the Bears’ leading receiver for the third straight year starting in all 13 games, catching 52 passes for 715 yards and four touchdowns. His career with the Chicago Bears was concluded with 315 receptions for 3,684 yards and 23 touchdowns. On August 23, 2004, Booker was traded to the Miami Dolphins.
Marty Booker’s one-handed catch
A highlight from the Chicago Bears vs the Detroit Lions where Booker makes a one-handed catch.
Ending of his career
On March 4, 2008, Booker agreed to another contract with the Bears for two years worth $3.5 million. He only caught 14 passes for 211 yards and two touchdowns, including a 51-yard touchdown reception. He was released from the Bears on February 13, 2009. According to ESPN, Booker was struggling with injuries from his last season.
Booker went on to sign with the Atlanta Falcons on August 6, 2009. After the 2009 season, Booker hung up his cleats after he found no interest in the free agent market. As of 2014 Booker has not officially announced his retirement but has not suited up since 2009.
Marty Booker’s ending stats overall are 117 games started, 539 receptions by 6703 yards, and 37 touchdowns.
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