Devin Hester: I won’t be with the Bears next seasonContinue reading.
Bears thank Devin Hester for eight great years with the team
And now, it’s official. Star kick returner Devin Hester and the Chicago Bears are going their separate ways, the team confirmed on Thursday.
The Bears issued a statement saying the team has informed Hester that it would not be re-signing him for the 2014 season, echoing Hester’s comments from a night earlier on NFL Network.
“For the past eight seasons we have been honored to have Devin Hester as a part of our organization,” Bears general manager Phil Emery said in a statement. “While Devin has redefined the pinnacle standard of the return position in the NFL, the memories and contributions he has given us cannot be measured by stats or numbers.
“Not only is Devin a special player, he is also an exceptional person. He is a great teammate, husband and father. Devin represented the organization off-the-field as well as he did on it. When his career is over, he will always be a welcome member of the Bears family. We thank him for his dedication and wish him and his family all the best.”
Hester, who spent all eight of his seasons with the Bears, may see some interest on the open market from teams looking for a kick-return specialist. With a specialized role in 2013 for the Bears, Hester led the NFL with a career-high 1,436 kick return yards.
Hester, the NFL’s all-time leader in punt return touchdowns (13) and total kick return touchdowns (18), definitely wants to continue his career. He said a reunion with former Bears coach Lovie Smith in Tampa Bay is “possible.”