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Devin Hester: I don’t know if I want to play anymore

Devin Hester, Kassim Osgood AP

Devin Hester has only played for one coach since he entered the NFL and he said Monday that he’s thinking about keeping things that way by retiring before the start of next season.

Hester spoke to reporters after Lovie Smith was let go by the Bears after nine years as their head coach, a move that Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reports Hester blamed on “false fans” and media rather than the fact that the Bears have advanced to the playoffs just once since 2006. The firing left the NFL’s all-time leader in punt return touchdowns talking about renewed thoughts about retiring from the sport.

“I don’t even know if I want to play again, man. You know, that’s been on my mind for two years now,” Hester said. “It’s not (as much fun anymore). It ain’t. So, I have my workers’ comp papers in my pocket. See how I feel, go home and talk to my wife, my family. See where we go from there. I’ve got two beautiful kids, man, young. Two boys. A lot of stress has been on my mind lately.”

Hester, who struggled on returns this year and saw less time as a wide receiver, said that the workers’ comp comment was not because of a physical injury, but because he’s hurting “mentally.” That might be related to his comment that it felt “stressful” not to have his talents showcased more regularly.

If Hester does decide to keep playing, he might not be back with the Bears. Hester’s due a big roster bonus this offseason and that could mean the end of his run with a Bears team that’s moving in a different direction this offseason.

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47 Responses to “Devin Hester: I don’t know if I want to play anymore”
  1. phillyphever says: Dec 31, 2012 2:24 PM

    So….when does Urlacher moan and groan about this?

  2. adantsa says: Dec 31, 2012 2:25 PM

    Wow. Tough life these professional athletes have I tell ya…

  3. mcmeen0576 says: Dec 31, 2012 2:28 PM

    His “stress” has shown on the field. He is obviously in his head over his lack of returns. They put too much on this guys plate. Should have just let him return kicks. He has been overcompensating on returns for a couple years now. He gained more yards running sideways this year than he did moving the ball up the field!

  4. mazblast says: Dec 31, 2012 2:29 PM

    Good luck getting workers’ comp benefits if you leave your employment voluntarily and can’t prove some violation of the employer-employee relationship.

  5. Gordon says: Dec 31, 2012 2:30 PM

    Just wait til the rest of these guys start complaining about this. They’ve been awfully comfortable under Lovie.

  6. ilovefoolsball says: Dec 31, 2012 2:30 PM

    I want to be a stressed millionaire.

  7. jakec4 says: Dec 31, 2012 2:31 PM

    Devin Hester is the name of a former great return man who probably sees the writing on the wall. I’d imagine he has a change of heart when he realizes you don’t keep getting a paycheck after retiring.

  8. tndiver says: Dec 31, 2012 2:31 PM

    Yeah the season hasn’t been as fun because you haven’t been winning, which is why your coach was fired! And Workman’s Comp??? Are you kidding me?

  9. claymatthewshairplugs says: Dec 31, 2012 2:31 PM

    As a Bears fan through and through good god am I tired of all these Bears players whining about Lovie. first Urlacher calling fans idiots and now this bozo who hasn’t done anything relevant in the last 4 years. This guy couldn’t run a route if his life depended on it. Facts to these guys, the end result is a championship and the truth is Lovie couldn’t ever get it done with his 3rd grade offense and his refusal to make in game adjustments when teams were torching him. Honestly these players are probably mad because Lovie being a players coach let them do whatever and they don’t want someone who will push them hard. From a die hard Bears fans, thanks lovie but don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Get rid of Hester, Urlacher this idiot fan this you need to go, the tampa 2 is outdated, cut half the O-line and rebuild the D. The status quo isn’t acceptable any longer.

  10. jziii says: Dec 31, 2012 2:32 PM

    As a Vikings fan, I would be okay with him leaving the Bears or retiring. Do whatchoo gotta do, Devin.

  11. dmface says: Dec 31, 2012 2:33 PM

    @Adantasa..yes they do have a tough life. Injuries, surgeries, more money that you and I could handle. We are where we are because we did not have the talent they have. But there is a price to pay for having such talent.

  12. jeffbbf says: Dec 31, 2012 2:33 PM

    Maybe if Hester was able to perform at a level that Lovie gave him the chance to (over and over), Lovie would still have a job. More likely, Lovie was just way off on his assessment of Hester and should have kept him away from the offense. Good riddance

  13. larryboodry says: Dec 31, 2012 2:34 PM

    Devin Hester is not close to the player he was a few years ago, and never should have been a WR…That said, if he’s gone next year he’ll still be missed.

  14. g35phin says: Dec 31, 2012 2:37 PM

    I’d usually post something funny but this is no joke. We can say they don’t live a hard life and that they have all the money in the world but the reality is that we do not know what they go thru.

    If this is the case, retire and find happiness. Don’t keep getting hit on the head and end your life stupidly.

  15. blackfootkiller says: Dec 31, 2012 2:38 PM

    What a dope…
    What ‘talent’ has he been hiding?
    He’s not a threat as a return man anymore…
    He was never a great DB…
    And nobody but the Bears incompetent staff thought he was a wide receiver…
    So what is this ‘talent’ that needs to be showcased?

  16. raiderufan says: Dec 31, 2012 2:39 PM

    Played his final game at Miami at WR and put up solid stats because they FED him the ball and ends up an NFL WR when he never fit the mold.

    He played 3 mostly ok years at CB in Miami and should have been told by a professional team to get used to corner. OR he should have stayed at Miami and had the ball FED to him while learning WR.

    I’ll always hate that he left early only because I think he could have been much more than a great returner.

  17. sweetnlow44 says: Dec 31, 2012 2:39 PM

    Wait til he finds out how stressful having a real job is that doesn’t pay millions to play a game.

  18. myroncopesflask says: Dec 31, 2012 2:40 PM

    Sorry Devin the game is now finished with you. You are the greatest kick/punt returner of all time. Too bad kickoffs are a thing of the past and nobody will punt to you anymore. When push comes to shove you are just a special teamer that will have to rely on the workers comp paperwork much sooner than you thought.

  19. FinFan68 says: Dec 31, 2012 2:41 PM

    Weak. He was a good returner but that is not as important at it used to be. He cannot play WR very well and he knows he is gone from the Bears before his bonus comes due. Lovie is a good guy but his time in Chicago was up a couple years ago. If he is devastated due to a coach getting fired then maybe he should just quit

  20. reprob8 says: Dec 31, 2012 2:46 PM

    Despite the inevitable erosion of talent as he aged, the pending elimination of the kickoff will limit the opportunities for return specialists.

    All the best to Mr. Hester and many thanks to him for entertaining us.

  21. thepvyharvin says: Dec 31, 2012 2:49 PM

    If I played for the Bears I would quit too,,,

  22. dfeltz says: Dec 31, 2012 2:51 PM

    raiderufan – The Bears did try him out at db, he was terrible, that’s why they tried to find a spot for him because you can’t be that good of return man and not contribute somewhere else. Bears were wrong.

  23. gergie1957 says: Dec 31, 2012 2:51 PM

    By the looks of things he didn’t want to play much of this season either.

  24. robmar924 says: Dec 31, 2012 2:53 PM

    I do feel sympathy for athletes when their career ends. Yeah they make millions for their career but its not something you can do forever so its essentially the lifelong earnings of a upper management position in corporate america. These guys work hard all life at a job you can only do til your mid 30s at best. Let the guy be, hes allowed to have problems too. (end of athletes are people too rant)

  25. whatjusthapped says: Dec 31, 2012 2:56 PM

    It will force the Bears to look for a real WR, and lord knows they could use another one. While they are at it, maybe look for a QB too.

  26. dukemarc says: Dec 31, 2012 2:57 PM

    It’s going to take a really strong locker room personality to break up the boy’s club the Bears have had for years.

    Prepare for a couple years of painful football and a lot of players whining, Bears fans.

  27. banlarson says: Dec 31, 2012 3:02 PM

    He’ll look good in purple next year along with Jennings from GB. That will allow Harvin to focus on WR. Gotta love Tice in Chicago, an OL coach running the Bears offense. How’d that work out for ya…oh, might want to get some OL help THIS off-season. Gonna be a long rebuilding process for aging Bears.

  28. midwestwarrior says: Dec 31, 2012 3:03 PM

    just another lovie smith lapdog whining and crying. why doesn’t he go follow lovie to the CFL where he belongs.

  29. saberstud75 says: Dec 31, 2012 3:04 PM

    From a Bears fan, Hester is a one trick pony that wanted more money and fame than a punt/kick returner could justify.

    He held out so Lovie and Jerry Angelo gave him a big contract and promised to turn him into a WR. Hester was not a top tier WR in college which makes it almost impossible for him to become one at the professional level.

    I say trade him for what ever we can get. I hope the Hester experiment is over!

  30. descendency says: Dec 31, 2012 3:12 PM

    What a huge burdon this would be for the new coaching staff. I mean, not having their kick return guy… where will they get one of them…

    Lovie Smith (along with other coaches) just do not understand how to get a team playing well heading into the playoffs. If he did, he’d still have a job in Chicago.

    Coaches that win in November and December do not get fired, period.

  31. ninjapleazee says: Dec 31, 2012 3:14 PM

    As a bears fan devin you were nothing more than a kick returner. You couldn’t run routes or even catch. Lovie’s game plan for you was go deep and draw pass interference. Glad to see you go.

  32. skinsfan4 says: Dec 31, 2012 3:14 PM

    Let’s see…retire and go to work making $30k at some 9 to 5. Or keep getting paid millions to play a kids’ game. Maybe I won’t retire after all.

  33. fuglyflorio says: Dec 31, 2012 3:15 PM

    Ummm … then don’t you drama queen. But please … stop whining.

  34. chitownborn5434 says: Dec 31, 2012 3:16 PM

    I would be sad too if I were him. The only other person, besides him, that believed he was a number 1 WR just got fired.

  35. whitecastleisafoodgroup says: Dec 31, 2012 3:29 PM

    I didn’t think you were still playing.

    Whether Lovie was coming back next year or not I would hope Emery would jettison Hester anyway. Hester was fun to watch 4-5 years ago but has just been selling jerseys lately and nothing else.

  36. ajb3313 says: Dec 31, 2012 3:39 PM

    A shining example of how invaluable kickoffs are to the game. Without kickoffs, there’s no Devin Hester. And I don’t think there’s a football fan in their right mind who would tell you they didn’t enjoy watching this guy run back kicks.

  37. surfinbird1 says: Dec 31, 2012 3:46 PM

    Grow up. It’s a busness.

  38. thetokyosandblaster says: Dec 31, 2012 3:55 PM

    Man, I don’t know where the bears would find all those yards Hester provided.

  39. blackandbluedivision says: Dec 31, 2012 4:03 PM

    That might be related to his comment that it felt “stressful” not to have his talents showcased more regularly.
    _________________

    What talents? You’re back there to return every punt and just about every kick. As a WR you’re on the field but you’re not catching the football!! You catch screens and run sideways. You field punts and run sideways! You field kickoffs and run sideways!! Dude Eric Weems has been more valuable by making Special Teams tackles alone.
    This has to be the single dumbest move in all of Lovie’s tenure, making him a WR and paying him like one.

  40. Pacific NW Mark says: Dec 31, 2012 4:04 PM

    I hope he Hester does retire as a Bear this offseason.

    He will leave behind a brilliant career as a kick returner, tying the career returns for touchdowns record. Even when opponents tried to limit his touches by kicking away from him, he made a positive impact on the Bears’ field position.

    Obviously he’s had less success a wide receiver, and his return skills seem to have diminished over time. There are a number of proud veterans on the Chicago roster who should also be contemplating retirement.

  41. metalhead65 says: Dec 31, 2012 4:41 PM

    thanks for the memories Devon. don’t let the door hit you on the way out. the bears can use the money they save if you go on getting Cutler some protection.

  42. otis52gsh says: Dec 31, 2012 5:05 PM

    I didn’t even realize he still was playing.

  43. jprcox says: Dec 31, 2012 5:42 PM

    Chicogo didn’t do anything to help their free-agent signings. Not only will several leave, good luck signing players to a team that seems so unloyal.

    There is no way a coach like Lovie, who took the Bears to a superbowl, winning record, and finished 10-6 barely missing the playoffs should be fired.

  44. jprcox says: Dec 31, 2012 5:43 PM

    @metalhead65…

    “don’t let the door hit you on the way out” – spoken like a true Bears fan. Why would anyone want to play there. You guys will have 3-4 seasons of fighting for the first and second round picks.

    Welcome to the term – REBUILD.

  45. bearsfan4life says: Dec 31, 2012 8:33 PM

    Anyone want a #4 WR that drops every other pass or a return man that runs in circles? Literally in circles!

    Absolutely electrifying in his day but has been hot garbage for so long that he is irrelevant.

    Good riddance.

    You’re a has been and Knox and Manning are proof that it was as much Toub’s system as your ability.

    “Number one wide receiver?” So happy I don’t have to hear that ever again!

  46. orivar says: Jan 1, 2013 2:09 AM

    “I want to be a stressed millionaire.”

    And then you realize you have just about as much problems as you did when you made the statement and feel like an idiot because of it.

  47. John A. says: Jan 1, 2013 9:19 AM

    It took all of two weeks for rookie Jeffery to take his place as flanker in the offense… and the Bears to decide to keep Jeffery in the line up over Hester in spite of him being a bonehead.

    Three years with the Bears and mediocre rook still beat him out at WR. That pretty much says it all about him as a WR… that he really isn’t one.

    In spite of that, Hester’s cap number for 2013 is less than $3m, same as the amount he’s actually due next season. He’s a 5th/6th WR, but still a decent return threat. At that low of a cap number, I doubt he’s going to get his wish and be released to go to another team.

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