Devin Hester officially announces his retirement

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After playing for the Seahawks in their Divisional Round loss to the Falcons in last season’s playoffs, kick returner Devin Hester said he thought he was done with his playing career.

Hester didn’t get around to officially closed the door on returning until Tuesday, however. That’s when he posted a farewell to football on his Twitter account.

Hester opened with a joke about it being OK for the NFL to move kickoffs back to the 30-yard-line now that the best returner in recent memory has hung up the cleats and went on to thank the University of Miami and Bears fans for welcoming him. Hester also touched on his time with the Falcons, Ravens and Seahawks after he moved on from Chicago.

The letter ends with Hester saying he hopes to see everyone in Canton. His ability as a returner makes a strong case as Hester returned 14 punts, five kickoffs and a missed field goal for touchdowns in his career and added a kickoff return touchdown in the Super Bowl after the 2006 season. Those 20 return touchdowns are an NFL record as are his 14 punt return scores and Hester was a potent weapon who affected every game he played during the peak of his career.

That should earn him consideration from Hall of Fame voters when it comes time to render their verdict on his career and we wish Hester well in his future endeavors.

18 responses to “Devin Hester officially announces his retirement

  1. if ever there was a special teams player that deserved the hall of fame it was steve tasker. you can now add another name to that list.

  2. Good nfl career.

    Unfortunately… the Bears featured the cornerback as their #1 wide receiver
    instead of as #2-3 level wide receiver that he is/was.

  3. I will never forget the Monday Night Cardinals/Bears game when the Bears offense put up a grand total of 3 points and Devin Hester almost single-handedly gave Dennie Green an aneurysm. THEY ARE WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE, and we let ’em off the hook. Awesome player that deserves to be in Canton (perhaps not first ballot, but definitely sooner rather than later).

  4. I’ve come to believe he should get in, although I was formerly not happy with the idea. The reality is that the game, and every position played therein, has become so specialized that a solid return man, or a solid kicker, or even a solid punter is pretty much as valuable as any other “skill” position player. And Jebus knows, Hester tilted the field.

  5. I’m sure the Hall of Fame never considered enshrining a returner but this guy definitely deserves to be in just for his returning ability. This guy had teams holding their breath EVERY TIME he touched the ball. He impacted more games than just about any player except for the QBs. I’m not a Bears fan or a UM fan but this guy’s impact on the game was indisputable. Usually returns are boring but you watched when he was the returner. He reminds me of Barry Sanders–you just never knew what incredible thing he was going to do. If he’s not a first ballot HoFer then some of the people voting need to not be voting anymore.

  6. He won’t be in canton. There were a number of other players equally as talented as he was in the return department, but those players developed into full time players at different positions (WR usually) and became too important to continue using in the return game. Hester was never able to develop, therefore he remained in the position for his whole career, giving him more opportunities to get those return stats.

  7. He can get in line behind Brian Mitchell because Mitchell was just as good of a returner and a better overall player. Oh and he won a Superbowl. If anyone deserves to be the first returner in the HOF it’s B-Mitch.

  8. Media, and sports media, in particular, has tossed around the phrase “game-changer” so much about anything and everything, that it’s been turned into a near-meaningless, throwaway term. Devin Hester, however, exemplifies what the term really means. He made me hate the way Chris Kluwe punted; this is from a Vikings’ fan.

  9. Sorry, no HOF for a gadget player. He made some plays, but let’s preserve the HOF busts for those true elite players of the game. i.e, there’s a meaningful difference between Barry Sanders and Terrell Davis; between Devin Hester and Jerry Rice.
    One alternative is to rate HOF by Tiers: Tier 1 HOF, Tier 2, Tier 3. Then, sure, maybe Hester is a Tier 3 HOF’er.

  10. He certainly will lead to an interesting discussion. But, unless other special teams only players begin to make the HOF, I’m not sure that he’ll be able to get in, even though he’ll certainly be deserving. The reality is that as outstanding as he was, he was strictly a star as a returner. If he had truly become a good player in any of the other phases (I personally thought he always should have remained at CB), then it’d become less of a contentious discussion. But he didn’t. And I can’t endorse him unless there is more defined criteria for induction of special teams players.

  11. Kickoff/punt return TDs-to-attempts ratios:

    Devin Hester (19) — 1 TD for every 32.1 returns.

    Brian Mitchell (14) — 1 TD for every 82.3 returns.

    Gale Sayers (8) — 1 TD for every 14.8 returns.

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