NFL single-season punt leader Bob Parsons dies at 72

The Bears announced that their former punter Bob Parsons died last Friday at the age of 72.

Parsons played for the Bears from 1972 to 1983 and is the franchise’s career leader with 884 punts over that span. He also set an NFL single-season record with 114 punts during the 1981 season. Former Texan Chad Stanley tied that mark in 2002.

Parsons joined the Bears as a fifth-round pick after playing quarterback and tight end at Penn State. He did not punt at all as a rookie and did it four times in his second season before taking over the job for good in 1974. He would lead the league in punts in 1975 and 1982 in addition to his record-setting 1981 campaign.

While Parsons transitioned to a full-time punting role, he also caught 19 passes for 231 yards and four touchdowns. He was 7-of-13 for 131 yards passing the ball.

Parsons’ run with the Bears ended with a couple of games left in the 1983 season. Former Bears head coach Mike Ditka cut him after hearing that Parsons was talking to the USFL’s Chicago Blitz about switching leagues in the offseason. He would play two years for that league’s Birmingham Stallions after leaving the Bears.