After the Chicago Bears decided to fire head coach Lovie Smith on Monday, wide receiver/kick returner Devin Hester questioned whether he still wanted to play football.
Bears general manager Phil Emery believes Hester was just speaking emotionally and that he won’t be hanging up his cleats when it’s all said and done.
“Obviously, Devin’s under contract, so if he sent his retirement papers in, I would know,” Emery said, via Adam J. Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times. “But I don’t anticipate that. I think he’s a great competitor. I think that was an emotional situation that evoked an emotional response, and I certainly understand that.”
Hester took to twitter Tuesday to clarify his comments and said Smith’s firing wasn’t actually the catalyst for his feelings.
“Let me make myself clear the reason why I feel like retiring has nothing to do with Lovie Smith Getting fired,” Hester tweeted. “It’s hard to play this game when you’re not happy or having fun At what you love to do in life.”
Hester has struggled to be productive after making the conversion to wide receiver. Hester posted a pair of 50-catch seasons in 2008 and 2009 before seeing his production slide the last three seasons. His 23 catches this season were the second-lowest of his career while the 242 yards and one touchdown are his output in six seasons. Hester also failed to score a touchdown on special teams for the first time since 2009.