Monday, February 4, 2013
BBAO: Fresh start for Devin Hester?
By Kevin Seifert
We're Black and Blue All Over:
The NFL's 2012 season concluded Sunday night with Super Bowl XLVII, although we in the NFC North have been on hiatus for a month already. Now, we all enter into the offseason mode of the kind of player movement that Chicago Bears kick returner Devin Hester hinted at over the weekend.
In an interview with Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune, Hester said he wants to continue playing -- backing down from last month's threat to retire -- but suggested he might benefit from a fresh start with a new team.
Because he is under contract for 2013, Hester would need to convince the Bears to trade or release him in order to move on. It's not clear yet how new coach Marc Trestman would use him, but at 30, you would think Hester has several productive years ahead of him.
Hester is the best return man in the history of the NFL, and that fact alone should force the Bears to exhaust every effort to keep him. On the other hand, sitting on prominent players who want out is never a good team-building policy.
We also shouldn't disregard the financial side of this situation. Hester has only one year remaining on his contract. I'm guessing he wouldn't be looking for a fresh start anymore if the Bears offer him a market-level contract extension.
Continuing around the NFC North:
- AFC West blogger Bill Williamson wonders if Hester could wind up with the Kansas City Chiefs, who hired longtime Bears special teams coordinator Dave Toub.
- Hester's agent, Eugene Parker, told Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times: "Once the Bears conclude their evaluation of their players and their team, I expect to have discussions about Devin's future. Until they finish that, everything is premature to talk about."
- Former Green Bay Packers linebacker Dave Robinson was "Lawrence Taylor before there was a Lawrence Taylor," writes Cliff Christl of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. Robinson was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday.
- Robinson, via Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "I wasn't surprised as much as I was just relieved. If I didn't make it this time, I didn't know what I was going to do. You can't get back on as a senior candidate. I'm 71 years old. I would never be back. This would be my one last shot."
- Minnesota Vikings tailback Adrian Peterson was "the logical and obvious choice" for the NFL's Most Valuable Player award, writes Judd Zulgad of 1500ESPN.com.
- Former Vikings receiver Cris Carter's son, Duron, will present him at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony next summer, notes Mark Craig of the Star Tribune.
- Defensive lineman Curley Culp became the 19th player to enter the Hall of Fame who once played for the Detroit Lions, notes Tim Twentyman of the Lions' website.