Chicago Bears: Should Devin Hester be a first-ballot Hall of Famer?

Chicago Bears (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bears, Devin Hester
Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

This year’s Hall of Fame class was highlighted by Peyton Manning and Calvin “Megatron” Johnson. Will next year’s class feature a Bears legend? The debate as to whether or not former Chicago Bears return specialist Devin Hester should be in the Hall of Fame is not a new one. This dates back to the day he retired.

The debate had gone cold for a bit but will start to reappear, as Devin Hester will be eligible for the HOF in 2022. Some believe that he should be a first-ballot Hall of Famer, while some think that he shouldn’t receive the honor at all.

As a Bears fan, the answer seems like a simple “yes,” but the story goes deeper than that. If Devin Hester was admitted as a first-ballot Hall of Famer, he would be the first return specialist to accomplish that. In fact, he would be the first return specialist to even make the Hall of Fame in general, much less be a first-ballot guy.

This is where the debate gets tricky. As fans, the answer seems easy, but we do not know what the committee will value when deciding on Hester. To put things into perspective, we’ve only seen two pure placekickers and up until 2014, we hadn’t seen a punter. To pile onto that, none of the three listed players were inducted on the first ballot.

However, with the committee selecting Ray Guy, former Oakland Raider, we’re starting to get an idea that they may be more receptive to nontraditional positions being considered. To look deeper into this, return specialist is now the only “position” that hasn’t been inducted through 2020. Having said that, there is an entirely different conversation as to whether or not that can even be considered a position.

Some naysayers believe that since Devin Hester was technically a wide receiver and a bad one at that, he should not be allowed in. To me, it would be a crime against the Hall of Fame to keep the greatest of all time at any position out.