All-time return touchdown leader Devin Hester announces retirement

Devin Hester

He was named a Pro Bowler four times (2006, 2007, 2010, 2014) and was also elected to the National Football League 2000s All-Decade Team. A collective sigh of relief could be heard from special teams coaches around the league after the news of Hester retiring came about. He took three punts back for touchdowns that year, and also averaged 35.58 yards per kick return, the sixth-highest single-season average of any player to return at least 10 kicks in a given year.

Devin Hester, the NFL's career leader in combined kickoff and punt returns for touchdowns, announced his retirement via Twitter on Tuesday.

Cornerback Sherrick McManis, the only active Bears player to team with Hester, was asked to make the case for him in the Hall. Chicago was where he was known as one of the best return men of all time.

"To all of the Bears fans, you brought me in and made a Florida boy feel at home in the Midwest from Day 1", Hester wrote.

Perhaps the biggest name sharing his perspective on Hester was Houston Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt, who told a touching story about the time he first met the Windy City Flyer.

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As a member of the Hurricanes, Hester amassed six kickoff touchdowns, a rushing touchdown, receiving touchdown and hauled in five interceptions.

"I'd also especially like to thank Coach Lovie Smith for taking a chance on me in the draft and getting this whole thing started".

On the day of his retirement, Jarrett Payton chose to take some time to reflect on the career of Hester from his former place of work: Halas Hall. He made an impact on the game just by standing on the field and being Devin Hester. He played eight years with the Bears.

We can also compare Hester's career numbers with those of Brian Mitchell, considered the best kick returner of a previous generation. He drew many comparisons to Deion Sanders' return game. For that alone, he deserves Hall of Fame consideration.

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