Devin Hester Announces Retirement from NFL After 11-Year Career

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistDecember 12, 2017

Chicago Bears' Devin Hester (23) runs the opening kickoff back for a 92-yard touchdown in the first quarter of the Super Bowl XLI football game against the Indianapolis Colts at Dolphin Stadium in Miami on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2007. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
David J. Phillip/Associated Press

Devin Hester has returned his final kickoff in the NFL.

Hester, who has not played this season, announced his retirement on his Twitter page Tuesday following 11 years in the league.

"Over the last year, I've spent time reflecting on my career surrounded by friends and family, and I realized it's time for me to officially retire from the NFL," he said.  

Hester also shared his appreciation for the University of Miami and the Chicago Bears—the team that drafted him in 2006 and where he played most of his career. Here is his full message:

Hester entered the league in 2006, when the Bears selected him in the second round of the draft.

While he enjoyed a few solid years as a wide receiver with 665 receiving yards in 2008, 757 in 2009 and 504 in 2014, he made his mark as one of the best returners in NFL history.

The Miami product ran 14 punts back for scores throughout his career, seven of which came in his first two seasons. He also had five regular-season kickoff returns for touchdowns and started Super Bowl XLI against the Indianapolis Colts with a touchdown on the opening kickoff.

The four-time Pro Bowler and three-time First Team All-Pro member is first on the all-time punt return touchdown list, third on the punt return yardage list with 3,695, tied for eighth on the kickoff return touchdown list and 11th on kickoff return yard age list with 7,333.

Hester played for the Atlanta Falcons in 2014 and 2015 and the Baltimore Ravens in 2016, but he will always be remembered as a dominant special teams force on the Bears.

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