Money a question mark for Hester


CHICAGO -- The idea of three-time Pro Bowl returner Devin Hester reuniting with ex-Chicago Bears' special teams coordinator Dave Toub in Kansas City remains "a possibility," according to a source with direct knowledge of the situation, but the Chiefs are not believed to have the financial flexibility to overspend to acquire Hester.

Hester earned a total of $2,107,523 in the final year of his contract with the Bears, but he is not expected to command that kind of money on the open market after the Bears announced Hester would not be re-signed.

One league source anticipates Hester will have to settle for around $1 million, although it's unknown if any concrete figures were exchanged between Hester and interested teams during the NFL's legal tampering period leading up the start of free agency.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, with former Bears and current Bucs head coach Lovie Smith calling the shots, are also believed to be a potential match for Hester.

Hester set the Bears' single-game record last year with 249 kickoff return yards versus the Minnesota Vikings in Week 2. He finished the year with 51 kickoff returns for 1,436 yards (27.6 yard average) and 18 punt returns for 256 yards and one touchdown.

Hester holds the all-time NFL record for combined career kick return touchdowns with 18.