Green Bay Packers tight end Marcedes Lewis (89) runs down the field after a catch during an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021, in Cincinnati. The Chicago Bears signed the veteran tight end to a one-year contract on Saturday, Aug. 5, 2023. (AP Photo/Zach Bolinger, File)

On August 4, Marcedes Lewis aka “Big Dog” made NFL history. Lewis set the new record for seasons played by a tight end, passing hall of famer Tony Gonzalez. The Los Alamitos native signed with the Chicago Bears and is currently competing in the team’s training camp. Chicago is the third team Lewis has played for in his professional career.

He is known for his skillful catching abilities and the capacity to block effectively during a surprise tackle from the blindside. Alongside Lewis’ natural talent, his longevity of years played is quite impressive. Going into year 18, he has played in 251 games, totaling in 10,000 snaps. In his career, he has 432 receptions for 5,084 yards and 39 touchdowns. He was a first round draft pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2006 after playing his collegiate career at UCLA and high school career at Long Beach Poly.

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Marcedes Lewis catching a pass in traffic against the Cleveland Browns (Samantha Madar/USA TODAY NETWORK)

At UCLA, he earned first-team All-American and won the John Mackey Award, an honor given to the top tight end in college football. Lewis still holds the UCLA tight end all-time records with 1,571 yards receiving and 21 touchdowns. He went on to play 12 seasons in Jacksonville and 5 seasons with the Green Bay Packers. He is the only active player selected from the 2006 NFL draft. He is also the only player still playing from his 2002 UCLA football team.

The 39-year-olds passion for the game is what keeps him motivated to be able to continue playing. Lewis stated in the Los Angeles Times, “Part of it is showing people that it can be done.”

“Being able to have the singular focus to go out there and be your personal best every single day. For me that is part of my purpose,” he said. “I was born to do this. I’m not going to disrespect the gift of still being able to do it and not be here.”