Devin Hester tells his side of a bet with Chicago Bears teammate Julius Peppers
Throughout his should-be Hall of Fame career, former Chicago Bears star Devin Hester played with some of the NFL’s most polarizing, outspoken players — often at the same time. So, not surprisingly, when he guest appeared on Bleacher Report’s Untold Stories with Master Tesfatsion, he came with stories upon stories to tell.
Within the episode, the four-time Pro Bowler discussed his “relationship” with Jay Cutler, calling him the “best quarterback” he played with when it came to accuracy, power, and football IQ. However, he followed a familiar tune when it came to Cutler’s off-field habits, saying he was the worst when it came to communication, leadership, and galvanizing the group. Hester said Cutler often found a player or two and gravitated to them over anyone else.
That segued into a back-and-forth between Cutler and Brandon Marshall — arguably Cutler’s greatest teammate, and one of the few players he seemed to develop close on-and-off-field chemistry with. But at one point in either 2012 or 2013, an argument broke out, creating a legendary bet between Hester and all-time great defensive end Julius Peppers. Hester broke it down as follows:
"“I’m on the sidelines. We in practice, right? They doing pregame warmups, tossing and throwing the ball. Jay Cutler and B-Marshall, they get into it. B-Marshall yells out, ‘I made you!’ Without me, you wouldn’t be Jay Cutler. All the Pro Bowls … you got this cause of me.'”"
Some ways away, Hester and Peppers made a deal that went as follows: every time Cutler threw a pass to Brandon Marshall, Peppers owed Hester $50. If he threw it to anyone else on the field, Hester would give Peppers $100 for every catch.
So, what’s funnier? The fact that Cutler and Marshall got that animated in a pregame warmup? Or the fact that Hester knew how his teammates would respond that well? Hester says it got so bad, they had to stop the bet.
Cutler threw the ball to Marshall 21 consecutive times.
Hester and Peppers played together in 2012 and 2013, which means players like Matt Forte, Alshon Jeffery, and Martellus Bennett likely shared the field, too. That means Hester walked away with $1,050 extra to his name and didn’t even need to make a play.
Hester says that what pissed him off is that no one said anything, which certainly suggests that it was 2013. Teams of the Lovie Smith mold likely operated differently than the Marc Trestman era.
Nonetheless, it’s quite the story for a fun, dynamic Chicago Bears team that just didn’t pan out. Speaking personally, Marshall, Hester, and Peppers all deserve to be enshrined in Canton, Ohio in the very near future, and Cutler stands as one of the NFL’s most underappreciated talents.
For those intrigued by these sorts of, well, Untold Stories, Bleacher Report has a great archive of them from across the league. The link to the Devin Hester one is above, where he also discussed his Hall of Fame candidacy, and why he stopped being used as a wide receiver. The link to the rest of them can be found here.