Devin Hester has failed to be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in his first two years of eligibility, both in 2022 and 2023. But after years of eligibility, the former Chicago Bear return man has finally made his way to Canton.
Last night it was announced that Hester, Julius Peppers, and Steve McMichael, will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Why Hester's Hall of Fame bid has been a long time coming
Hester may not have reached even 800 receiving yards in a season during his time in the NFL, but he continuously broke records in the returning department. Hester has led the league in the following: Kick return yards and touchdowns in two separate seasons, punt return yards twice, average yards per punt return twice, punt return touchdowns in three seasons, as well as being the all-time NFL leader in punt return touchdowns with 14. The most punt return touchdowns after Hester is Eric Metclaf with ten, and Metcalf played in 23 more games in his career.
Hester holds 11 NFL records from the returning department, including over twenty Bears records with punt and kick returns. Hester is also famously known for returning the opening kickoff for a touchdown in Super Bowl XLI, the only player to ever do it. Hester has Three First-Team All-Pros, has been selected to four Pro Bowls, and was selected to be a part of the 2000s and 2010s All-Decade Team, despite only playing in seven seasons in the 2010s, all as a returner.
The Former Bear also spent two seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, additionally spending time with the Baltimore Ravens and Seattle Seahawks in 2016. He was a part of Seattle's playoff run in 2016, averaging over 35 yards per kickoff return in two games.
Hester brought fear to opposing special teams and will always have a special place in Chicago's fans' hearts. There was never a doubt that he should have been elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and his greatness will forever be cemented, not only in Chicago but alongside the greatest players to ever play American Football.