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.