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Hester could be jettisoned by Bears

Hester AP

Long-time Bears return specialist Devin Hester at one point sounded like a guy who was ready to leave Chicago.  More recently, he has sounded like a guy who is ready to stay.

And so the question becomes whether the team is ready to keep him.

As our pal John Mullin of CSNChicago.com explains it, coach Marc Trestman says Hester is “competing” to be the Bears’ primary return man.  Trestman’s reluctance to declare that the job belongs to Hester could mean that, in time, the Bears will decide to go in another direction — which would send Hester out of town.

If/when the Bears choose to move on from Hester, they’d presumably hope to trade him instead of cutting him.  The former gets him out of the division; the latter means he could end up in Detroit, Minnesota, or Green Bay.

Hester, 30, has a base salary of $1.85 million in 2013.  It’s not an excessive salary to carry, but with a new coach and a G.M. who arrived in 2012, the Bears could decide that it’s time to go younger at the position.

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46 Responses to “Hester could be jettisoned by Bears”
  1. tharoostah says: Jun 17, 2013 10:36 AM

    Had a nice career with the Bears…. but I have seen enough. Let him run backwards for some other team.

  2. tharoostah says: Jun 17, 2013 10:38 AM

    30 = 50 in kick returner years

  3. prowler55 says: Jun 17, 2013 10:38 AM

    Such a dynamic talent. Maybe he could land in a place where a certain coach knows how to use dynamic talents. I’m talking about a little place called New England

  4. rextraordinaire says: Jun 17, 2013 10:43 AM

    But what are the casual fans supposed to do with all those orange Hester jerseys they bought??

  5. datd00d says: Jun 17, 2013 10:43 AM

    Why would their motivation be to “go younger” at the position? Teams rotate their returners like they’re playing musical chairs. Its not a position you develop and invest in – good returners can plug in immediately, even off the waiver wire.

    If Hester is still at the top of his game and they’re thinking about moving him there has to to be something else going on…

  6. gbp4ever says: Jun 17, 2013 10:45 AM

    At 30 you can go and find a guy at 21-22 who is faster and cheaper.

  7. jason49er says: Jun 17, 2013 10:50 AM

    San Fran lost Teddy Ginn, Hunter and Kyle Williams are coming off devasting injuries, Parrish Cox is on the roster bubble.

    Could use a punt returner in the bay. And the best ever to do it would be a welcome addition imo.

  8. oldbrowndawg says: Jun 17, 2013 10:53 AM

    Same fate as Josh Cribbs. The change in the kickoff rules from a couple of years ago really altered the landscape. Now a kicker who can belt the ball out of the endzone is worth more than these once-great return men. Life marches on.

  9. kcflake says: Jun 17, 2013 10:55 AM

    Reunite hester with his old special team coach Dave Toub in KC. Would be a Dynamic Duo again.

  10. lorddarkhelmet says: Jun 17, 2013 10:57 AM

    please let them release him, Detroit could certainly use him

  11. whitdog23 says: Jun 17, 2013 10:57 AM

    bears fans…is he worth 1 td a season?? that’s all he gives you

  12. bennyb82 says: Jun 17, 2013 11:01 AM

    Never understood how he could thrive on punts and kickoffs but not in another area. If he cannot run routes or catch long passes, I would think he could run reverses or hb tosses. I am guessing they tried this though. I would love to see him in Detroit. He could always fill in when our CB`s go down…

  13. metalhead65 says: Jun 17, 2013 11:07 AM

    new staff or not he is still a threat to take one back every time he touches the ball. just because the old coaching staff did not know how to use him as a reciever does not mean he is done as a return man. and the receiver thing was not all his fault. it is not his fault the geniuses in charge of the bears offense thought the best way to use him was throw a screen pass to him on third down. that may have worked once or twice but teams knew it was coming which is why it did not work the last 3 years. how could they not just tell him to go long and let Cutler wing it to him? I mean Rex Grossman made benard berrian a rich guy doing only that! seriously the vikings paid him a ton of money and that was the only thing he could do and hester sure was faster than him.

  14. lostsok says: Jun 17, 2013 11:17 AM

    If he’s at the level he’s been in the past, he’s worth a decent contract…but will someone make that gamble? He could end up like Seymour, priced out of the game.

  15. floratiotime says: Jun 17, 2013 11:18 AM

    The guy’s playing for almost the vet minimum. Why release him ?

  16. granadafan says: Jun 17, 2013 11:18 AM

    They need someone who can actually run routes. The Bears don’t need a one-dimensional return man.

  17. ColtsWinColtsWin!! says: Jun 17, 2013 11:20 AM

    So, when a coach can’t utilize an amazing talent let him go, that is why the bears are a champions ship team year after year, great coaching, commitment to their players, what a franchise, just awesome really, A class above, how do they even store all their lombardi trophies really, wow, what else can I say really, just , brings me to tears how great they are. Smart move Bears, no really, smaaaaaaaaaaart move!!

  18. jsticky870 says: Jun 17, 2013 11:20 AM

    “Trestman’s reluctance to declare that the job belongs to Hester could mean that, in time, the Bears will decide to go in another direction”

    So since the coach isn’t handing him the job, you assume that they’re thinking of letting him go? This is pure speculation. C’mon!

  19. wnstonchill says: Jun 17, 2013 11:32 AM

    This is the perfect time to move Hester and get some value out of him with a draft pick or possibly another player to fill a hole somewhere else. Why wait until he’s completely ineffective as a returner to try and move him?? Plus, they have some players that can make a roster spot and step into that role right now. Do it!!!

  20. istateyourname says: Jun 17, 2013 11:38 AM

    Don’t need him for ONE play per game. The Bears ‘D’ is going to be AWESOME!!! Da Bears!

  21. japmen says: Jun 17, 2013 11:47 AM

    With the changes to the rules, returners are even less valuable than before. A 30 year old returner with a small market…even less valuable.

  22. sosuhme says: Jun 17, 2013 11:47 AM

    I was a big Lovie Smith fan, but taking the most dynamic return man the game has ever seen and turning him into a mediocre receiver has to be one of his biggest blunders – even more so than ignoring the offensive side of the ball.

  23. tangledupinblue12 says: Jun 17, 2013 11:50 AM

    I wish they would have tried to trade him 2-3 years ago, when his value was high and we had a serious need for draft picks.

    But watching him struggle to line up in the right spot at receiver, I guess that was too important to lose.

  24. cospgsmadman says: Jun 17, 2013 12:11 PM

    Stay wearing orange…Come to Denver and get a ring !

  25. vdogg says: Jun 17, 2013 12:25 PM

    Or maybe he needs to know he’s not being handed a spot with no accountability for his actions like Lovie did…..

  26. larryboodry says: Jun 17, 2013 12:27 PM

    Personally I hope he wins the job in camp and finishes his career with the Bears.

  27. Chace says: Jun 17, 2013 12:31 PM

    Lovie Smith really screwed this kid up by trying to first make him a cornerback then a wideout. It wasn’t until they starting trying to find a real position for him that his return numbers steadily declined. What a shame too because if he could have kept up his return game he would have easily broken the record and been remembered as one of the all-time great return men of the NFL. He still will be for the few years he was great, but he could have been great for a lot longer I believe.

  28. pkrjones says: Jun 17, 2013 12:39 PM

    Apparently debunking your post is worthy of truthful posts getting deleted…

    Hester has a BASE salary of $1.85Mil but also has a ROSTER BONUS of up to $10Million! Depending on the parameters of it “de-escalating” it could drop to $1 or $2Mill… but what GM (in their right mind) would spend $2.85+Mil for Hester to return punts? Highly doubt any trade is in the works.

  29. SAV says: Jun 17, 2013 12:44 PM

    This is one guy that would help most teams, he’ll get scooped up. May not be TD guy anymore but with his wheels and experience he can be a nice field position add.

    Miami im sure would be a nice spot, went to the U I believe. The young QB could use a solid KR

  30. lionsdraftguy says: Jun 17, 2013 12:47 PM

    He’ll probably go to the 49ers…then we’ll all have to hear from thr 49er PFT commenters how they are gonna be sooooo good because they now have Hester..

    Cant wait.

  31. filthymcnasty1 says: Jun 17, 2013 12:50 PM

    If I had a nickel for every Bear fan that assured me what a great receiver this guy was going to be………………….

  32. larryboodry says: Jun 17, 2013 12:51 PM

    @ColtsWinColtsWin!!:

    Colts: 2 SB wins in 4 tries, and 4 championships overall…Team W-L % of .528 since 1953.

    Bears: 1 SB win in 2 tries, and 9 championships overall…Team W-L % of .578 since 1920.

    You were saying, Junior?

  33. larryboodry says: Jun 17, 2013 1:01 PM

    Oh, and Junior? Those 9 championships are second only to GB’s 13, and the .578 winning percentage is the highest of any NFL franchise.

    Bet you didn’t know that, either.

  34. larryboodry says: Jun 17, 2013 1:26 PM

    filthymcnasty1 says: Jun 17, 2013 12:50 PM

    “If I had a nickel for every Bear fan that assured me what a great receiver this guy was going to be…”

    You’d still be broke.

  35. whatjusthapped says: Jun 17, 2013 1:33 PM

    Let me see, he’s on the downside of his career, his best days behind him, he is overpaid for his level of production, and he already has played for a NFC divisional rival, yup, it all adds up, he is going to the Vikings.

  36. essentialsausage says: Jun 17, 2013 1:48 PM

    The Bears wasted this guy’s talent. He should have just been a kick returner, and maybe a trick play guy occasionally. That was his most valuable ability.

  37. larryboodry says: Jun 17, 2013 2:04 PM

    As for Hester having to compete to be the ‘guy’ on kick returns, I’m not sure how that suddenly means the Bears don’t want him.

  38. farvite says: Jun 17, 2013 2:50 PM

    The Bores played him on the wrong side of the ball.

  39. fground says: Jun 17, 2013 2:59 PM

    can’t see Minn or GB having any interest. The Vikings just drafted Cordarrelle Patterson and GB has Cobb. I could see Det taking a run at him.

  40. brohamma says: Jun 17, 2013 3:04 PM

    New England has 3 vacancies on the team currently. With Welker gone and Edelman still on the mend.. a third next year and a consideration for a sixth if he plays the season might get Chicago to bite.

  41. spankygreen says: Jun 17, 2013 3:08 PM

    As for Hester having to compete to be the ‘guy’ on kick returns, I’m not sure how that suddenly means the Bears don’t want him……

    Who in the hell could he possibly be competing against?…If they let him go it’s just another coach who does not have the creativity to get from this guy all that he has to offer…..what this league has is a lot of Offensive Coordinators that do not have the ability or knowledge to know how to attack defenses…..with the speed this guy has surely you can find a way to get him the ball where he creates nightmares for opposing teams.

  42. baselman1974 says: Jun 17, 2013 4:09 PM

    A team can’t give a roster spot to a special teamer only who isn’t a punter or FG kicker. There are only 53 roster spots. Injuries happen and depth is important I have seen enough of Hester as a receiver that he can’t be trusted. He doesn’t have the hands to be a WR, can’t make route adjustments. Also I heard he can’t remember plays. Since the darn rule change of kickoffs moved to 35 yard line, why would the Bears keep Hester?

  43. chi01town says: Jun 17, 2013 5:20 PM

    the last of the Lovie Lovers, Emery should throw his reverse running %&? out of Chicago.

  44. larryboodry says: Jun 17, 2013 5:55 PM

    spankygreen says: Jun 17, 2013 3:08 PM

    “Who in the hell could he possibly be competing against?…If they let him go it’s just another coach who does not have the creativity to get from this guy all that he has to offer…..what this league has is a lot of Offensive Coordinators that do not have the ability or knowledge to know how to attack defenses…..with the speed this guy has surely you can find a way to get him the ball where he creates nightmares for opposing teams.”

    I’m sure that was the thinking behind making Hester a WR in the first place…Shame that he couldn’t learn the nuances of the position, or how to run the correct route.

    As for competition at KR, Marquess Wilson is the only guy on the roster with the speed to challenge Hester…Unless Hester continues to run backwards after fielding the kick, then he may not stick around.

  45. smug123 says: Jun 21, 2013 8:16 AM

    “larryboodry says:
    Jun 17, 2013 12:51 PM

    @ColtsWinColtsWin!!:

    Colts: 2 SB wins in 4 tries, and 4 championships overall…Team W-L % of .528 since 1953.

    Bears: 1 SB win in 2 tries, and 9 championships overall…Team W-L % of .578 since 1920.

    You were saying, Junior?”

    I don’t think you understood the main point of his post.

  46. larryboodry says: Jun 21, 2013 10:28 AM

    smug123 says:

    “I don’t think you understood the main point of his post.”

    Prob’ly not…Hard to make one out through all that sarcasm…And a fan of a team with 4 championships should not be mocking the trophy case of a team with nine.

    Just sayin’.

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