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Report: Devin Hester wants $4 million a year

Hester Getty Images

Devin Hester is the best return man in NFL history. And he wants to get paid like it.

An NFL personnel evaluator whose team has discussed a deal for Hester tells Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com that Hester is seeking a contract that pays about $4 million a year.

If that’s true, it’s ridiculous. The closest comparison to Hester in free agency this year is former Broncos return man Trindon Holliday, who just shopped himself around the NFL and ended up signing a one-year, $700,000 contract with the Giants. The idea that Hester would get five or six times as much money as Holliday is crazy.

Look, Hester has every right to believe he’s worth a lot of money. Hester is the NFL’s all-time record holder in combined kick return touchdowns and punt return touchdowns, and if there’s ever been a player who could make a case for Hall of Fame candidacy based solely on returning kicks, it would be Hester. But NFL teams don’t pay you for what you’ve done in the past. They pay you for what you’re likely to do in the future. And although Hester is still playing well (he led the league in kickoff return yards last year), the fact that he will turn 32 next season means that his best work is behind him.

So Hester is either going to drop his asking price, or he’s going to be looking for a long time.

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105 Responses to “Report: Devin Hester wants $4 million a year”
  1. ajgreenhof says: Mar 19, 2014 10:44 AM

    I actually laughed out loud.

  2. truninerfan49 says: Mar 19, 2014 10:45 AM

    I want to bang Kate Upton. Sorry, Devin but neither one of us will get what we want

  3. sportsbastard says: Mar 19, 2014 10:45 AM

    REPORT: I also want $4MM/year. (I’m about as likely to get it as D. Hester as well)

  4. alphaq2 says: Mar 19, 2014 10:46 AM

    He’ll be extremely lucky to get half of that.

  5. ariani1985 says: Mar 19, 2014 10:47 AM

    Yeah, and I want the Packers to not be the laughing stock of the league when it comes to defense. Not gonna happen.

  6. blackandbluedivision says: Mar 19, 2014 10:47 AM

    He’s a kick returner. That’s it he’ll be lucky to have a job.

  7. nflofficeadmin says: Mar 19, 2014 10:48 AM

    #getmammon

  8. dalfanforever says: Mar 19, 2014 10:48 AM

    Um…wow. Has anyone told him that 32 year old returners are maybe a touch slower than 21 year olds? Good luck.

  9. bucrightoff says: Mar 19, 2014 10:48 AM

    $4 million a year and they guy would only return kicks, so maybe 50 touches a year. So basically $80,000 a touch. Nice work if you can get it.

  10. thegonz13 says: Mar 19, 2014 10:49 AM

    I want $4 million a year too…

  11. squinn21 says: Mar 19, 2014 10:49 AM

    Been a Hester fan since he was at Miami. I hope he saved his money though. Kick returners are being phased out of the game at a rapid pace.

  12. thefootballgodssay says: Mar 19, 2014 10:50 AM

    DO NOT GO 2 N. E THEY FAKE INJURY REPORTS

  13. themackstrong says: Mar 19, 2014 10:50 AM

    Hester you do know the competition committee moved the ball 5 yards closer limiting KR chances?

    2011 was his last year for KR TD. I think he will remain unemployed if 4 million is his asking price.

  14. ebr362 says: Mar 19, 2014 10:51 AM

    He’s crazy! In a league that is doing away with his position you do not demand more money than runing backs that handle the ball 20-30 times a game get. Just another case of a player way over estimating his egotistical worth.

  15. nygmann says: Mar 19, 2014 10:51 AM

    Considering the NFL is trying to limit KR, is he really worth $4M? I understand there are other components of the game, I.e. PR, Returning long FG attempts but let’s face it, I think he is past his prime. He was a utility WR3 at best in his career with Bears.

  16. chc4 says: Mar 19, 2014 10:51 AM

    I want Santa Claus to be real.

  17. toochilled says: Mar 19, 2014 10:51 AM

    Report: Devin Hester is out of his mind!

  18. buckhuckster says: Mar 19, 2014 10:51 AM

    Devin Hester: Your demands are RIDICULOUS!!

  19. javierjiminy says: Mar 19, 2014 10:52 AM

    Might want to check him in with Irsay. That’s a crazy price he’s asking for.

  20. blackandbluedivision says: Mar 19, 2014 10:52 AM

    $3-$4 million to watch kicks go out of the endzone?

  21. mvp43 says: Mar 19, 2014 10:53 AM

    He can want it all he wants, but he won’t get it. No team will fork over that kind of cash for a one dimensional player. Once he realizes that, his asking price will go way down.

  22. billsalldayaday says: Mar 19, 2014 10:53 AM

    Hed be lucky to get on a roster this season. I think it is BS that he has that many teams interested in him.

    He should pay them to take up a roster spot, because he cant play CB or WR. What a joke. He was the recipient of outstanding ST in Chicago. Nothing more. Retire bro.

  23. youtubeingravenvids says: Mar 19, 2014 10:53 AM

    The REAL headline should read: “Devin Hester doesn’t have any realistic expectations”

  24. blackandbluedivision says: Mar 19, 2014 10:55 AM

    “Dude, give it up. It’s not gonna happen”

    ~ Dante “Human Joystick” Hall

  25. tigerlilac says: Mar 19, 2014 10:55 AM

    Do players and agents not understand the market? There are 32 teams that can compete for Hester’s services. Traditionally, absent a slot opening up for a quarterback due to injury, the market price goes down the longer we get into the free agency period because teams fill their needs, utilize their cap space or see the remaining pool of players as having less value. Agents think they can manipulate teams into believing a higher priced market exists for their client’s services than really exists (and there are some dumb organizations). Best to match your client with a short list of teams that he is willing to play that have both the ability and intent to sign him. Ask for a best and final offer and counter the best one with “reasonable” requests to make it work for both sides. Hester is not getting $4MM.

  26. kevinb73 says: Mar 19, 2014 10:57 AM

    This is probably why he hasn’t been signed in Tampa yet. He was all about it before, but I can tell you Tampa’s not paying 4/year for a good punt returner and a so-so wide-out.

  27. zo121179 says: Mar 19, 2014 10:58 AM

    REPORT: Devin Hester will be joining Brian Urlacher at FOX sports for the 2014 season.

  28. rickastleydancemoves says: Mar 19, 2014 10:59 AM

    If he wants 4 million a year, he’s not serious about playing football anymore.

  29. weepingjebus says: Mar 19, 2014 10:59 AM

    That price would be worth it for teams like the Steelers or Jets that get scored on a ton and hence have to field a lot of punt returns.

  30. realdealsteel says: Mar 19, 2014 11:00 AM

    Hester is full of himself.

  31. granadafan says: Mar 19, 2014 11:02 AM

    This guy’s always been pretty delusional. He wanted to get paid more so he demanded to become a WR. The problem is, he wasn’t disciplined/ smart enough to learn how to run precise routes and work with QBs on timing or learn how to block. He’s best in the chaos of returns where he can run on instinct, not the precise timing of passing offenses.

  32. kylexitron says: Mar 19, 2014 11:02 AM

    I’d like Devin Hester for free. Thank you drive through.

  33. wayneflores says: Mar 19, 2014 11:02 AM

    we will pay him 2 million, signed Reggie “Green Bay” McKenzie.
    But then we might just cut him the next day, but he can keep the signing bonus.

  34. 15starr says: Mar 19, 2014 11:03 AM

    Packers paid Jarrett Bush $2 mill a year just to tackle returners (he is damn good at it) – I can see Hester getting $3 mill

  35. RussianBreadMaker says: Mar 19, 2014 11:03 AM

    He is clearly delusional.

  36. NoobTubeTV says: Mar 19, 2014 11:04 AM

    He also reportedly wants to be 6’2″ or taller… and also 6 years younger.

  37. The Almighty Cabbage says: Mar 19, 2014 11:05 AM

    I’ve hated Hester just because he was a dirty rotten Bear, but think about this. Perhaps he figures that he’s already got enough money and that he’s just not willing to take the punishment that goes with the job for less than his asking price.

    Maybe he’s not saying “this is what I’m worth.” Maybe he’s saying “this is what it will take to make me take that beating.”

  38. sandyf79705 says: Mar 19, 2014 11:06 AM

    $4 million a year, understand people in Hell want ice water also, maybe he can bring it to them once he gets his $4 million, NOT!

  39. sterling7 says: Mar 19, 2014 11:06 AM

    Let’s see, he can’t play the receiver position and far and away most kickoffs are booted out of the end zone so the return man is pretty much useless. That sounds about right $4000.00 a year-whoa what $4 million-kinda outta hand!!!

  40. iowamiah says: Mar 19, 2014 11:08 AM

    This is where the loyalty is Mr. Urlacher. The almighty dollar. Hester is doing the same thing you did and if he doesn’t cave will also be out of football.

  41. remyje says: Mar 19, 2014 11:08 AM

    so do i

  42. milhousemn says: Mar 19, 2014 11:09 AM

    Sure, why not? 3 years, $12M none guaranteed. Year one $700k, year two, $1.3k, year three $10M.

  43. DonKellyBaby says: Mar 19, 2014 11:12 AM

    I want $4 million a year too, Devin.

  44. dezno24 says: Mar 19, 2014 11:13 AM

    STOP IT!!!

  45. metrocritical says: Mar 19, 2014 11:15 AM

    REPORT: Devin Hester remains unemployed after seeking 4m per year.

  46. footballfan20 says: Mar 19, 2014 11:16 AM

    Does Hester know that AL Davis passes away. Cuz the only person that would sin Hester for 4 mil

  47. vikinganswer says: Mar 19, 2014 11:17 AM

    So do I and we both have an equal chance of that happening.

  48. firejerry says: Mar 19, 2014 11:20 AM

    As a kick returner at 32 he is a step slow, as a reciever— cant’t catch, can’t block, cant’t run routes. I am thing he is not worth the veterans minimum. Devin you had a great ride!!!

  49. macneil4025 says: Mar 19, 2014 11:20 AM

    Dude, your a one trick pony, I could see maybe $1million of an owner is just throwing around $$$

  50. bearasstruth says: Mar 19, 2014 11:22 AM

    Devin Hester you are actually now RIDICULOUS!!

  51. jimthebuilder27 says: Mar 19, 2014 11:23 AM

    I want $4 million a year too! And I want Vikings fans to be respectable as well!

  52. axespray says: Mar 19, 2014 11:23 AM

    ariani1985 says:
    Mar 19, 2014 10:47 AM
    “Yeah, and I want the Packers to not be the laughing stock of the league when it comes to defense. Not gonna happen.”
    ——————————–
    Your team’s defense got lit up by the browns (@ the metrodome) and was a far bigger joke than our defense which was wiped out with injuries.

  53. buzzlightner says: Mar 19, 2014 11:23 AM

    U will be lucky to return 40-50 kicks a year.. also he hasnt returned for a td since 2011.. get real dude.. if u maybe had some receiver or corner skills u would be able to ask for that

  54. getyourownname says: Mar 19, 2014 11:24 AM

    Breaking news report: Dan Snyder countered with a “take it or leave it” offer of $6 million per year.

  55. wnstonchill says: Mar 19, 2014 11:25 AM

    The kick returner position is becoming obselete with the changing of the kickoff distance. Hester has been the best of the best for a long time, but, this is a BUSINESS. Any team that would pay $4 million to a player because of his name and past accolades deserves to be OUT OF BUSINESS!

  56. oakmeals85 says: Mar 19, 2014 11:28 AM

    Come to the Raiders for 3yrs $9 million, $2.5 million of that guarenteed and continue to prosper Fam.

  57. isphet71 says: Mar 19, 2014 11:28 AM

    Hester is like the circus lion that only jumps through hoops of fire when the circus is actively diminishing the use of fire in shows until it is illegal.

  58. guitarfreak21 says: Mar 19, 2014 11:29 AM

    Before I saw this article I never thought he would get more than vet minimum… actually I still think that. It’s quite possible he’s a camp body and never steps foot on the field in 2014.

  59. willycents says: Mar 19, 2014 11:32 AM

    Nothing wrong with asking. When Selling something (he is selling himself) start high and negotiate downward. If buying, start low and negotiate up. If you sell a car and advertise $1000, you sure as hell ain’t gonna get $10000 out of it.

  60. vikingsftw says: Mar 19, 2014 11:35 AM

    Listening to clown music all day will warp anyone’s sense of reality. That said, he’d be a great fit in Turd Bay.

  61. seahawkhuskyfan says: Mar 19, 2014 11:37 AM

    Cowboys will probably offer him 5M a year

  62. GBwomenrhot says: Mar 19, 2014 11:38 AM

    I spit up when I read this….and he won’t join Urlacher at FOX, he can’t put a sentence together….wait, you don’t have to be able to talk at FOX Sports, just say stupid things!!

  63. malek773 says: Mar 19, 2014 11:41 AM

    Twice now the Bears have stopped negotiating with guys because they want more than they are willing to pay. One of those players found out last year that no one would pay him what he wants. Hester is going to find that out this year as well. I suspect he retires or rejoins the bears for about 1M a season.

  64. thegonz13 says: Mar 19, 2014 11:45 AM

    Bo knows it won’t happens.

  65. campcouch says: Mar 19, 2014 11:46 AM

    Turn that dude into a nickleback and get your money’s worth out of him.

  66. stabbyniners says: Mar 19, 2014 11:48 AM

    It’s pretty easy to lead the league in KO Return yards when the defense on your team was as strong as a wet tissue…

  67. rockthered1286 says: Mar 19, 2014 11:49 AM

    Considering Jacoby Jones who is 3 years younger, has been a better KR than Hester in the past 2 years AND is a much much better #3 receiver option, just got a 4 year $12M deal ($3M per year for those mathematically challenged)? I struggle to see where he gets his perceived value from.

  68. sarcastafan says: Mar 19, 2014 11:52 AM

    Even if he retires and gets a prime tv gig in the booth (if he was a hall of fame qb) he is getting 2 mill but if it’s nfl network apparently 500k is more standard. After ten years it’s over though.

  69. njoberg says: Mar 19, 2014 11:52 AM

    Santa lives in the White House

  70. mvp43 says: Mar 19, 2014 11:53 AM

    The best return man in football is akin to being the worlds tallest midget.

  71. ytownjoe says: Mar 19, 2014 12:00 PM

    Josh Cribbs got paid. Look what happened.

  72. rg3sus says: Mar 19, 2014 12:07 PM

    The only way he gets half of that is if a team decides to ignore the results in Chicago and try him out at WR or DB again. As a 4th receiver and great return man he could get maybe $2mm

  73. cmurr1711 says: Mar 19, 2014 12:07 PM

    Maybe, just maybe he could get close to this kind of money IF the NFL did not change the kickoff rules. Now that only a few kicks AR returned his ability to impact the game was reduced greatly, and sadly for him, his earning potential. No wonder the Bears didn’t sign him, they would be crazy to pay even close to that kind of money.

  74. fiegln says: Mar 19, 2014 12:13 PM

    Devin Hester Will Be A Dolphin!
    3 Years 12 Million!

  75. billyswagger says: Mar 19, 2014 12:16 PM

    “oakmeals85 says:
    Mar 19, 2014 11:28 AM
    Come to the Raiders for 3yrs $9 million, $2.5 million of that guarenteed and continue to prosper Fam.”

    ‘Oakland’ and ‘prosper’ have never been synonymous, at least in my lifetime, fam…

  76. duece5 says: Mar 19, 2014 12:25 PM

    Cordarrelle Patterson-the best KR in the league-but can also catch, is only 22, but is on a rookie deal.

    No way Hester is paid more than CP, since Hester can’t catch, and he hasn’t returned one to the house in 3 years.

    Good luck with that, Devin.

  77. oilcandroid says: Mar 19, 2014 12:33 PM

    Back in 2008 when Hester signed a 4 year 22 Mil deal, MDS posted an article on AOL Fanhouse and tried to give me the business in the comments when I said it was a bad deal for the Bears – which it was. Now Hester wants less money and MDS is changing his tune and acting indignant that Hester could ask for so much. Keep tryin’ MDS!

  78. alshonbrandontandem says: Mar 19, 2014 12:33 PM

    “We think $4 million a year is not enough, we’ll double that”

    - The Oakland Raiders organization

  79. jpk6044 says: Mar 19, 2014 12:39 PM

    Dean Wormer says the chances of Hester getting $4 million per year are “zero…point…zero.”

  80. wizahdry says: Mar 19, 2014 12:40 PM

    He is nuts. Aside from his age the recent rule changes have altered the role of a kick and punt returner. Plus most teams won’t keep a roster spot for a player to just return punts (since kickoff returns are almost extinct now). Hester needs to get real and get with a team before the draft.

  81. jgedgar70 says: Mar 19, 2014 12:49 PM

    Hey Devin – come to Carolina. We need a punt returner, and your (lack of) wide receiver skills puts you about third on our depth chart. And the Bears are playing at Carolina this year. You just need to drop 1 zero off your request and you’ll have a new home…

  82. drsummeroff says: Mar 19, 2014 12:50 PM

    About as much chance of this happening as the Vikings winning a Superbowl.

  83. steelerben says: Mar 19, 2014 12:54 PM

    Hester feels that his value comes from his “ability” to play wide receiver and DB in addition to returning kicks. He doesn’t seem to realize that at both of those positions he’s a developmental player at best. It would be cheaper and easier to sign an UDFA at the rookie wage scale and let them float around the 50-53 roster spot as a returner while you develop them into a potential fifth receiver or back up dime DB.

    Reducing the asking price to $1 million a year, with half of that guaranteed and the rest in incentives will land him on a roster that is just desperate to have any talent or speed on it and protect their first or second string players that are currently doing the returning.

  84. dptbs77 says: Mar 19, 2014 1:02 PM

    Haha, that Devin Hester is a funny guy. Maybe he should try his luck as a comedian…

  85. emperorzero says: Mar 19, 2014 1:37 PM

    Devin Hester is getting bad advice.

  86. joecashflow says: Mar 19, 2014 1:46 PM

    He wont be joining Urlacher. That would require some common sense.

  87. Frazier28/7 says: Mar 19, 2014 1:53 PM

    Then go to Green Bay.

  88. supesfan34 says: Mar 19, 2014 2:01 PM

    Perhaps this was a sneaky way of announcing his retirement…

  89. haileysbadoldad says: Mar 19, 2014 2:06 PM

    Didn’t jacoby Jones get a similar deal from Baltimore? The skins are starved for a returner I’d pay the man

  90. zeusdagod says: Mar 19, 2014 2:07 PM

    I’m going to play devil’s advocate here a bit. Is it unrealistic for him to ask for $4 million to return kicks? Let’s look at why he would ask. If I’m a player of his caliber(and like it or not he is a caliber player) I look around and I see QBs getting guaranteed contracts for regular season performance and post season failure. I see WRs getting lofty contracts and the following year taking it easy on their routes. I see DTs getting huge contracts then complain about having to show up for training camp and taking plays off. So I think considering his career accomplishments, yes he is entitled to ASK for that much. But he’s crazy to think that a team is going to open their purse strings for the kinda money for a return man for those very same examples i listed. Not saying he’ll get lazy but if you’re a one trick pony, I’d be better off gambling on drafting an impact return guy for a fraction of that price that beating the farm on just returns.

  91. redandgoldhitman52 says: Mar 19, 2014 2:16 PM

    how about devin hester going to the 49ers for 1.5 million to play the slot and run streaks , deep posts , slants and drags. that will open up the field for veron , crabtree and boldin.. and of course to return punts and kickoffs. with our defence, devin will get alot of opportunitys to return a punt to the house. 49ers lack speed. devin hester could be bigtime in SF.

  92. ghostof34 says: Mar 19, 2014 2:17 PM

    Let’s say his opponent through scoring a bit resulting in a kickoff, and punting some…puts him on the field for what as little as 6 and as much as 10 plays a game? For 4 million dollars? That’s at the 10 play average, $25,000 a kick. Hope you saved your money Devin, you’ll be watching the NFL from your couch.

  93. motsuret06 says: Mar 19, 2014 2:26 PM

    Not going to happen. Devin Hester is a great player but his best days are behind him and he is on the wrong side of 30. He receiving skills did not pan out in Chicago so he is unlikely to get $4 million a year for return skills only. There is a reason why the Chicago Bears turned him loose. Beggars cannot be choosers. He will learn that.

  94. koudoes says: Mar 19, 2014 2:27 PM

    Maybe he wants to change to quarterback lol

  95. humpofdc says: Mar 19, 2014 2:36 PM

    Heeee Heeee Haaaaaaaaaa……..(holding my stomach)…..Ahhhhhhhhhh….Ahhhhhhh…Four Million……FOUR MILLION DOLLARS………ahhhhhhh (now rolling on the floor)….Not even four million Yen…..Heeeee heeeee……..

  96. packfanaj12 says: Mar 19, 2014 2:58 PM

    Hester will most likely have to accept a contract worth less then 2 mil a year. The only way he gets up to 4 mil a year is if it’s incentive based and he somehow manages to hit every incentive.

  97. golicsloveschildfromphilly says: Mar 19, 2014 3:13 PM

    He is high – left over stash from the U of Miami!!!!!

  98. fugginswheat says: Mar 19, 2014 3:26 PM

    Devin, Is Brian Urlacher your agent? I heard Brian told you that is a good starting point in contract negotiations, but you should definitely get no less than 3.5M…..Seriously, and people think the Bears have no Loyalty….. No, they finally have a competent front office that will not over pay for anyone, including Future HOF’ers…..Love you Phil!!!

  99. coachhanni says: Mar 19, 2014 3:41 PM

    hes obviously broke

  100. somatg3 says: Mar 19, 2014 4:07 PM

    Hahaha, I hope Devin enjoys his early retirement. I’d be shocked if he gets over 1 mil. He doesn’t do anything other than return kicks and 2/3 of them are touchbacks.

  101. polomontanna says: Mar 19, 2014 4:13 PM

    I really wanted him to come to the Falcons an play for us but for 4 million a year to return punts an kickoffs please him want be putting on this Red an Black or any other color no ones about to pay no old kick returner that type of money even if you are the best of all time that was then an this is now an sorry Hester but you ain’t worth that type of money!!!!!

  102. doe22us says: Mar 19, 2014 4:22 PM

    We can safely say Hester didnt take Econ 101, just saying.

  103. sportsnut101 says: Mar 19, 2014 8:27 PM

    He will get more then holiday because he dont have fumble problems
    If u play field position football then he is key to ur team
    I have no problem with 3 yr 8 mill

  104. 11dancingditkas says: Mar 19, 2014 11:26 PM

    Urlacher must be his advisor…. In Brian reasoning, Hester not getting $4 mil a year means all 32 teams in the NFL are guilty of lacking loyalty.

  105. footballnut85 says: Mar 20, 2014 2:11 PM

    Hahahahaha! What’s he going to use it for, English lessons????

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