Bears pay tribute to Devin Hester

Bears pay tribute to Devin Hester
March 6, 2014, 10:30 am
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Tony Andracki

It has been suggested this week that Devin Hester will not return to the Bears for the 2014 season.

[RELATED: Top 5: Devin Hester's greatest moments with the Bears]

Now, the organization has confirmed it.

After a report earlier this week from NFL Network's Ian Rapoport saying Hester won't be back, the record-setting returner intimated as much with a TV appearance and Facebook post Wednesday.

Thursday morning, the Bears sent out a press release paying homage to one of the organization's most iconic players.

"For the past eight seasons, we have been honored to have Devin Hester as part of our organization," GM Phil Emery said. "While Devin has redefined the pinnacle standard of the return position in the NFL, the memories and contributions he has given us cannot be measured by stats or numbers.

"Not only is Devin a special player, he is also an exceptional person. He is a great teammate, husband and father. Devin represented the organization off the field as well as he did on it. When his career is over, he will always be a welcome member of the Bears family. We thank him for his dedication and wish him and his family all the best."

[MORE: Is Devin Hester's 'ridiculous' career Hall of Fame-worthy?]

Hester has 20 career return touchdowns, including 13 punts, five kick returns, a missed field goal return and his infamous kickoff return to open Super Bowl XLI.

But he played last season at age 31 and returned just 18 punts (including a TD) in addition to 52 kick returns. For the first time, he did not factor into the offense, failing to record a touch from scrimmage.
Hester earned $1.8 million last season.

Take a look back at all of Hester's return TDs:

2006

Week 1 - Bears at Packers (84-yard punt return for TD) Bears win 26-0

Week 6 - Bears at Cardinals (83-yard punt return for TD) Bears win 24-23

Week 10 - Bears at Giants (108-yard return of missed FG for TD) Bears win 38-20

Week 13 - Bears vs. Vikings (45-yard punt return for TD) Bears win 23-13

Week 14 - Bears at Rams (94-yard kickoff return for TD) Bears win 42-27

Week 14 - Bears at Rams (96-yard kickoff return for TD) Bears win 42-27

Super Bowl XLI - Bears vs. Colts (92-yard kickoff return for TD) Colts win 29-17

2007

Week 2 - Bears vs. Chiefs (73-yard punt return for TD) Bears win 20-10

Week 4 - Bears at Lions (97-yard kickoff return for TD) Lions win 37-27

Week 7 - Bears vs. Vikings (89-yard punt return for TD) Vikings win 34-31

Week 12 - Bears vs. Broncos (75-yard punt return for TD) Bears win 37-34

Week 12 - Bears vs. Broncos (88-yard kickoff return for TD) Bears win 37-34

Week 17 - Bears vs. Saints (64-yard punt return for TD) Bears win 33-25

2008

No return TD's

2009

No return TD's

2010

Week 3 - Bears vs. Packers (62-yard punt return for TD) Bears win 20-17

Week 6 - Bears vs. Seahawks (89-yard punt return for TD) Seahawks win 23-20

Week 15 - Bears at Vikings (64-yard punt return for TD) Bears win 40-14

2011

Week 4 - Bears vs. Panthers (69-yard punt return for TD) Bears win 34-29

Week 6 - Bears vs. Vikings (98-yard kickoff return for TD) Bears win 39-10

Week 10 - Bears vs. Lions (82-yard punt return for TD) Bears win 37-13

2012

No return TD's

2013

Week 7 - Bears at Redskins (81-yard punt return for TD) Redskins win 45-41