Devin Hester has been the icon of special teams not only for the Chicago Bears but also for the entire NFL. Hester has broken five records in the Chicago Bears organization and has also broken nine different NFL records including the most combined special teams touchdowns in a career with eighteen. Hester is nothing short of ridiculous and you would probably think that this guy would be the last to be cut but as of late there has been rumors swarming around that this season just might be his last. With all of this I believe that this could possibly be very true. These are the reasons why I think Mr. Ridiculous's days are numbered.
Poor Wide Receiver play:
Devin Hester was originally drafted as a corner back so for him moving over to receiver seemed a little odd in the first place. But just to be honest I will say that Hester is terrible. He cannot catch and cannot really run a route that has more than a straight line. Hester has been more of a pest out on the field and frequently annoys Jay Cutler with dropping huge passes. Head coach, Lovie Smith, still seems to think highly of him as a receiver in hopes of forming him into a true #1 receiver... until now. The Bears went into this off-season with the intent of fixing the receiving corps. The Bears had traded for superstar receiver and best friend of Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall and also drafted Alshon Jeffery. Brandon Marshall will take over for the #1 and Jeffery will take over the #2, that is where Hester is left out. There will be only one other starting position with the slot and Earl Bennett has proven that he could be a very successful slot receiver. So Hester will have no place in starting for this position anymore.
Hester had shown that all that running had taken a toll on his legs. Hester had numerous injuries last season and most of them were to his legs. He had everything from a twisted ankle to shin splints, pretty much everything except for tearing or breaking something. With all of this Hester had still produced after returning two kicks last season. Although Hester never had a serious enough injury to miss a game, he still missed a lot of time from returning kicks.
Hester signed a four year contract extension worth around the price of $41 million back in 2008. That contract consisted of:
- $15 million guaranteed
- $5 million per year for roster bonus
- $5 million signing bonus
- $250,000 with workout bonus
- $18.94 million available in escalators
Hester now has this upcoming season and one more additional year on his contract. With that said Hester will be given a lot of money within that time. With cutting him, Hester will be paid half the amount of what he would be paid if he was still on the roster (if he makes $13 million then he would make $6.5 million if he would be cut). So cutting him would save a lot of money for next years off-season which would mean more free agent signees.
Tons of different options:
Whether it is special teams or receiving there are numerous options for the Bears. For returning, they have drafted and signed many different new options. They had signed Eric Weems and drafted Isaiah Frey and Greg McCoy. They also have Johnny Knox who is still recovering from a very serious injury that he had suffered from last year.
For receiving, this seems pretty obvious. The Bears had traded for top WR, Brandon Marshall, and drafted Alshon Jeffery who newcomer GM, Phil Emery, thinks very highly of. Overall, Hester can be replaced and those replacements are already on the teams roster.
Hester is considered a legend here in Chicago so losing him seems very hard to even imagine. But what he had shown last year, Hester's days are numbered and seeing him in a Bears jersey in another two years seems unlikely. Want my suggestion? Well... I can't say. The NFL would probably get mad at me.
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