Thanks, Devin

I’m wearing my Devin Hester Super Bowl 41 jersey today, and am a little sad. On Thursday, the Bears announced they will not be re-signing the future Hall of Fame kick returner. He leaves the Bears tied for the most return touchdowns in NFL history.

I plunked down money I don’t have for the jersey in 2007. I said at the time, even if Hester doesn’t last or does nothing else, we will always have the memory of the opening kickoff return touchdown in February of that year. And we always will.

As much as I will miss Devin as he once was, Steve Rosenbloom summed up the situation in today’s Chicago Tribune accurately. The NFL has legislated kick returns out of the game. The Bears have far greater needs for which to spend their limited salary cap space on the defense. Even an NFL-minimum contract for Hester would be too much, in my opinion, for the way Hester currently plays.

And I’m happy to see that Hester’s exit was graceful. He thanked the fans, said he loved playing for us, and would love to come back to retire as a Bear one day. Contrast that to Brian Urlacher‘s babyish exit, vilifying the fans that paid his salary, the most the team has ever paid any player.

Thanks Devin. We will miss you, but will always have the great memories.

5 Responses to “Thanks, Devin”

  1. Hester had a solid year, but he’s not the explosive returner he once was. He had five long returns against the Packers and Vikings this year. In years past, at least two of those would’ve been TDs. He’s replaceable at this point in his career. If you think Urlacher’s exit was bad, just wait the day comes for Briggs.

  2. One damming stat from last season: He only returned 18 punts last season, a league low.

    I don’t think Lovie did Hester any favors by having him play WR. If he also could play DB or safety, he’d be much more marketable.

  3. Thanks for the comments guys…

  4. Yeah as much as it would’ve been nice to keep him it would’ve been moreso for nostaglic/sentimental purposes. I think he went as far as he could go with the Bears and conversely they got as much as they could out of him. But I think we can all agree that he’s got a place in the Ring of Honor when his playing days are over…

  5. We have several guys now who can return. Weems, Hixon, Draughn, Williams from the CFL. A lot of options there. It was just too much $ for a player to be kept on the team solely as a returner. Will never forget the great moments, esp. in 06-07.

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