Tom Waddle Biography

Tom Waddle is a former American football player in the National Football League (NFL). He is currently a co-host of “Waddle and Silvy” on ESPN 1000. Additionally, he is a football analyst for WLS-TV in Chicago. He also appears on Pro Football Weekly and NFL Network. He spent his entire six-year career with the Chicago Bears.

Tom Waddle Wife

He married the love of his life, Cara. Cara is the daughter of AFL Hall of Famer Gino Cappelletti. Together, they gave birth to four daughters. His oldest daughter Georgia is a member of the Northwestern Wildcats soccer team. He and his family live in  Lake Forest in

Tom Waddle Bears

In 1989, the Chicago Bears signed Waddle as an undrafted free agent. During his first two years with the Bears, he struggled to make an impact as a receiver. Waddle lacked the size and speed to distinguish himself from other Bears wide receivers and remained on the lower rungs of the team’s depth chart. He received a chance to start in 1991 after the Bears lost starters due to injuries.


In a nationally televised Monday night game against the Jets, he made eight catches for 102 yards in an overtime win. In Chicago’s wild-card playoff loss to Dallas (17-13), Waddle was the Bears’ sole standout performer on the offensive side of the ball, catching nine passes for 104 yards and a touchdown. His performance established him as a mainstay in the Bears lineup and clinched him a spot on the famed All-Madden Team.


In 1992, Waddle began the season as a starting wide receiver and became a fan favorite. In the opener against the Detroit Lions, he caught a last-second game-winning touchdown pass from Jim Harbaugh. Later in a week 4 victory over the Falcons, he managed to outrun Deion Sanders into the endzone for a score. Waddle missed the final four games of the season because of injury.

After finishing the 1992 season with a record 5-11, coach Mike Ditka was fired and Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt was brought in to replace him. After leading the Bears in receiving yards and receptions in 1993, Wannstedt demoted Waddle in favor of faster receivers.

Later that year, he suffered a concussion and a partially torn knee ligament from an illegal hit by Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive back Thomas Everett. Bears offered Waddle a choice between a guaranteed contract at the league minimum salary, later that season. He instead attended the Cincinnati Bengals’ training camp but elected to retire. This was because he felt that his lingering leg injuries would no longer allow him to compete at the professional level.



Tom Waddle


Tom Waddle Broadcasting Career


He began working for WFLD after his retirement. His role was to do pre and post game analysis for bears games. Additionally, he began to work as a weekend and fill-in sports anchor. He also did some feature segments that were mostly comedic in nature. Later, he began co-hosting shows such as Chicago Bears Gameday Live, Fox Kickoff Sunday and The Final Word on Sunday nights.


In 1997, Tom began co-hosting Sports Central with David Kaplan weeknights from 7–9. In this show, he was required to discuss not just football, but all sports.

While at WGN he was also one of the trio of former Chicago Bears called “The Three Bears” with Glen Kozlowski and Dan Hampton.


He paired with Marc “Silvy” Silverman, his new show initially aired in  7–9 pm spot as Sports Central. After 2 months, they were moved to the weekday morning slot 9 am to 12 noon. This slot was formerly occupied by Steve Rosenbloom and Sean Salisbury. The show was eventually expanded to four hours and to include weekly in-studio one-hour segments with WLS-TV sports anchor Mark Giangreco each Tuesday. During football season, “Waddle and Silvy” host “The Jay Cutler Show” with the Bears’ QB, which originates from various bar/restaurants throughout Chicago on Mondays or Tuesdays following each Bears’ Game.

Every Wednesday, a listener was invited to be a contestant in the game “Wife or Radio Partner” where Tom Waddle reads three statements and the contestant must decide whether they were made by his wife, Cara, or his radio partner, Silvy. Two out of three correct guesses win the listener a prize from one of the show’s sponsors (though prizes are often awarded for scores of zero or one.)


NFL Network

In 2007, he began working at the NFL network in Los Angeles as gameday analyst paired with retired offensive lineman Jamie Dukes. In the 2010 season, he contributed as an analyst on NFL GameDay Scoreboard and NFL Total Access. His NFL analyses are notable for being concise and cogent.

Other Media

In addition to his duties at WFLD, WMVP, and the NFL Network, Tom appears weekly during the football season on Pro Football Weekly. Also during the season, he writes a weekly column for the Northwest Herald of McHenry County, IL.

He has also seen as an analyst for Sprint Exclusive Entertainment, providing content on all sports for cell phones.

On several occasions in 2008 and 2009, he appeared as a fill-in host, alongside Mike Greenberg, on Mike and Mike in the Morning on ESPN Radio. He and radio partner Marc Silverman has also hosted The Scott Van Pelt Show.

He has also done color commentating during CSN Chicago broadcasts of NIU Huskies Football and for a limited number of Chicago Rush games aired on the NFL Network.

Tom Waddle Jersey


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