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.