On Thursday, it was made official that Devin Hester will not break the return touchdown record with the Chicago Bears.
Hester agreed to a three-year deal with the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday. The financial details of the deal were not disclosed, though, Hester had previously been seeking $4 million per season.
There was no doubt that Hester’s first intention was to remain with the Bears. Hester was distraught when he announced prior to free agency starting that the Bears were not interested in retaining him for the 2014 season.
Considering the number of improvements the the Bears had to make on defense, not bringing back Hester was a wise decision. Bringing back Hester would have tied money up in a player that only contributes to the team as a returner on special teams. A move the Bears simply were not willing to do.
To Hester’s credit, he was among the best returners in the NFL in 2013. Last season, Hester led the NFL in kickoff return yards with 1,436 yards.
The Bears signed wide receiver Domenik Hixon during the first week of free agency and Hixon will likely be the returner for the Bears in 2014.