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Draft Scout *Devin Hester News
04/07/14 - WR/KR Devin Hester was signed as an unrestricted free agent by the Falcons from the Bears March 21.
03/06/14 - WR/KR Devin Hester was told by the Bears that the team would not be re-signing him for the 2014 season. Hester will become an unrestricted free agent March 11.
"For the past eight seasons we have been honored to have Devin Hester as a part of our organization," general manager Phil Emery said Thursday in a statement. "While Devin has redefined the pinnacle standard of the return position in the NFL, the memories and contributions he has given us cannot be measured by stats or numbers.
"Not only is Devin a special player, he is also an exceptional person. He is a great teammate, husband and father. Devin represented the organization off the field as well as he did on it. When his career is over, he will always be a welcome member of the Bears family. We thank him for his dedication and wish him and his family all the best."
Hester, 31, is the NFL's all-time leader in punt return touchdowns (13) and total kick return touchdowns (18). Including his 108-yard missed field goal return touchdown, Hester's 19 overall return touchdowns are tied with Hall of Famer Deion Sanders for the most in regular-season history. When adding Hester's 92-yard kickoff return touchdown to open Super Bowl XLI, his 20 overall return touchdowns (including the postseason) are an NFL record.
In 123 games played (46 starts) over eight seasons (2006-13), Hester's 3,241 punt return yards are eighth most in NFL history and his 12.3 punt return average ranks fifth. He is the franchise's all-time leader in total return touchdowns, punt return touchdowns, punt return yards, kickoff return yards (5,504), total kick return yards (8,745) and second in all-purpose yards (11,632).
A three-time Pro Bowler (2006, 2007 and 2010 seasons), Hester was named to the 2000's All-Decade team by the Associated Press and ESPN.
Prior to the team's announcement, Hester had said, "From my knowledge, I know that Chicago wants to go a different route with me. All I can say is thanks to the fans for the
11/20/13 - KR Devin Hester was practicing Wednesday with defensive backs. The Bears have had him practice at different spots at times during the season, more or less to give him something to do. But the secondary depth is a bit depleted at this point due to injuries to Charles Tillman and Craig Steltz, so it was basically done to have another body on the practice field and in case of an emergency.
"We try to keep Devin as busy as we can throughout the course of practice," coach Marc Trestman said. "But you never know. You never know. We certainly want to keep him doing what he's been doing.
"But he does have value, certainly, doing other things. And who knows. Nothing's out of the question. It's not something we've spent a lot of time talking about."
Still, it seems unlikely they would convert the kick returner, who is a former wide receiver and played defensive back in college, to a defensive back.
Tucker put it best when asked about a conversion to defensive back.
"No. I'm not in the converting business today," he said.
10/11/13 - KR Devin Hester became Chicago's all-time kick returner in terms of yardage with a 28-yard return against the Giants. He later had a 22-yard return, too, and it brought his record total to 4,643 yards. Glyn Milburn had the old record of 4,596. Hester already held the team record for punt return yardage (3,020).
09/16/13 - RS Devin Hester is known for recording the most punt/kick return TDs ever, he has always been better at returning punts for TDs than kickoffs. He has five TDs on kickoffs and 12 on punts. However, against the Vikings Hester showed he can still bring back kicks if he gets the opportunity from his blocking wall. Hester's team-record 249 yards in kickoff returns broke his old team mark of 225 set Dec. 11, 2006 (at St. Louis), which was his rookie year. That game included two returns for TDs.
Hester's returns come after the team turned him into a special teams player only and took away his wide receiver position during the offseason.
"I don't think we took a position away from him," Trestman said. "I just think we decided this was going to be his role. I don't think there was any kind of friction about making this decision."