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Bears thank Devin Hester, confirm they’re not signing him

Chicago Bears v Denver Broncos Getty Images

Devin Hester already knew that the Bears weren’t going to re-sign him for the 2014 season and the Bears went public with the information on Thursday.

The team issued a release confirming that they will not be bringing Hester back to return kicks for them for a ninth season.

“For the past eight seasons we have been honored to have Devin Hester as a part of our organization,” Bears General Manager Phil Emerysaid. “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 will leave Chicago as the all-time leader in punt return touchdowns and total kick return touchdowns, and he’s tied with Deion Sanders for the most overall return touchdowns in the history of the NFL. He also is the Bears’ franchise leader in every meaningful return metric.

Hester said Wednesday that he’d love to play for former Bears coach Lovie Smith in Tampa, but we’ll have to wait at least a few more days to see if the interest is mutual.

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21 Responses to “Bears thank Devin Hester, confirm they’re not signing him”
  1. chargersdiehard says: Mar 6, 2014 11:48 AM

    But if he plays in Tampa he has to wear those ugly uniforms!

  2. redwoodking says: Mar 6, 2014 12:01 PM

    Would mind him in SF.

  3. rcgolf12 says: Mar 6, 2014 12:07 PM

    He’s headed to the Giants.

  4. thestrategyexpert says: Mar 6, 2014 12:12 PM

    They should also thank Adrian Peterson for giving them a good suggestion of a backup QB to target that the Vikings very much might need to go after.

  5. docsweeney says: Mar 6, 2014 12:23 PM

    With changes in special teams rules and his advancing age, he might break the record somewhere else but he’s not worth the amount of money he thinks he’ll get and he can only do KRs, not PRs or play WR.

    Wise move by Bears to look elsewhere. He had his oment but it is passing fast.

  6. crazycane says: Mar 6, 2014 12:25 PM

    Camp Lovie is now officially open.

  7. arodgersgloryhole says: Mar 6, 2014 12:30 PM

    Best of luck to you Devin. He lit up so many fields with his returns over the years. Come back when it’s all said and one and retire as a Bear with a one day contract! “Devin Hester, you are Ridiculous!”

  8. alshonbrandontandem says: Mar 6, 2014 12:39 PM

    1st ballot HOF’er for returner, no doubt about that. Funny how every free agent from Chicago is going to end up in Tampa. Maybe Peanut will, but I doubt Hester ends up there…

  9. fugginswheat says: Mar 6, 2014 12:47 PM

    I will never forget his return in his first NFL game in GB, the return in Arizona…”He is who we thought he was”…or the opening kickoff of the SB!!! Thank You Windy City Flyer!!!!

  10. egomaniac247 says: Mar 6, 2014 12:59 PM

    Emery concluded by stating: “In other words Devin….you don’t have to go home but ya can’t stay here”

  11. chicagosports2014 says: Mar 6, 2014 1:17 PM

    Thanks for everything DH, best special teams player EVER!!!!!

  12. granadafan says: Mar 6, 2014 1:21 PM

    He always wanted to be a wide receiver, but he couldn’t play the position due to his inability to run correct routes. He’s a one dimensional player who thrived on the chaos of kick returns instead of the precise and disciplined offensive side where timing and route running are key.

  13. rextraordinaire says: Mar 6, 2014 1:25 PM

    This is such a stark contrast to how Phil Emery handled things with Brian Urlacher last year. Either he learned from it and is wants a smoother process of letting team veterans go, or he and Urlacher liked each other even less than what is already publicly known.

  14. ivanpavlov0000 says: Mar 6, 2014 1:54 PM

    Hester has been the Bears biggest offensive weapon for the past few years. Unfortunately its no surprise their management is cutting him – this is the Bears.

  15. purpleguy says: Mar 6, 2014 3:06 PM

    Glad he’s gone — that guy killed the Vikings.

  16. douglasgreenbriar says: Mar 6, 2014 4:06 PM

    At least they can stop playing soulja boy on every single return.

  17. itsasquirrel says: Mar 6, 2014 4:43 PM

    “Hester will leave Chicago as the all-time leader in punt return touchdowns and total kick return touchdowns, and he’s tied with Deion Sanders for the most overall return touchdowns in the history of the NFL.”

    Hester owns the record. Why stats from the most important game in the NFL don’t count when it comes to records is beyond ridiculous.

  18. epack13sb says: Mar 6, 2014 7:25 PM

    The Packers would be a good fit, for the right price.

  19. respectgsh says: Mar 6, 2014 8:23 PM

    This guy was so thrilling, I am so glad he played for my Bears. When he took it to the house I wasn’t thinking about work or bills, I was just thinking run, baby, run! I will miss that, but remember it fondly, especially the Denver game, the Arizona game and, oh yeah, the Super Bowl. Thanks for the memories Devin.

  20. dahonu says: Mar 6, 2014 9:02 PM

    Aloha,

    My son and I were at that Az MNF game. 5 th row on 45 yd line behind daBears bench..I think I spent $500 a ticket that I didnt have…at halftime, we were basically verbally abused by Cards fans. ..23′ s return was something I will never forget. But equally as important was how 54 took over the game in the second half. It was MJ like. We just knew we would win

    davenkris

  21. completefan says: Mar 7, 2014 8:41 AM

    It’s the right time for the Bears to make the change. Chris Williams is the most exciting player in football.

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