Devin Hester plans to retire. It would be ridiculous if he didn’t sign a one-day contract with the Chicago Bears and retire as a member of the team where he cemented his legacy.
It’s rare that you get to see the greatest at something perform their craft. How many got to see Picasso paint or Beethoven play? Like many Chicago Bears fans, I am happy to say that I saw Devin Hester, the greatest return man of all time, perform his craft, returning kicks and punts better than anyone in NFL history.
But all good things must come to an end. Devin Hester, who signed with the Seattle Seahawks just before the postseason, will announce his retirement after the Seahawks got bounced from the playoffs at the hands of another of Hester’s teams, the Atlanta Falcons.
"“I told my wife this is pretty much my last year,” Hester told reporters after the game. “I was hoping for a run to the Super Bowl. The only thing that I left out of this game is walking away without getting a ring. It’s tough.”"
Although Hester ultimately set the record for most return TD’s in an Atlanta Falcons uniform, he did nearly all of his damage as a member of the Chicago Bears. It would be a shame if Hester didn’t sign a one-day contract and retire as a member of the Chicago Bears.
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I know it’s pretty cheesy, but there’s something to seeing an all-time great return home and announce his official retirement with the team where he achieved most of his success. Charles Tillman did it recently and it was a good PR move for the Bears, who are sorely in need of a few wins with their fans after yet another disappointing season.
Hester was selected in the second round of the 2006 NFL draft out of Miami. Hester was officially listed as a cornerback in his rookie season, but his true position as return specialist. Hester made an immediate impact, returning a punt in his first game against the Bears bitter rivals, the Green Bay Packers.
Hester’s dynamic skills powered the Bears all the way to the Super Bowl in 2006 as he scored six return touchdowns during the regular season, but no return was as special as the opening kickoff of Super Bowl XLI:
Of course Hester’s TD was the pinnacle of that game for most Bears fans. Just re-watching it gave me chills all over again.
Hester had up and down seasons as a returner with the Bears, with return TD’s coming in bunches. Trying to make him into a wide receiver probably derailed his career as a returner. Can you imagine what he could have been if he’d focused on returning kicks?
Since he left the Bears after the 2013 season, he’s battled injuries and struggled to make nearly the same impact as he did in his prime, but he’s still got a little something left in the tank. In what’s likely his last game Hester had five kick returns for 194 yards and had an 80-yard punt return called back due to a silly penalty.
I agree. I think he’s still got something left in the tank, but if he insists on retiring, it should be as a member of the Chicago Bears!