When Lovie Smith was fired as head coach of the Chicago Bears back on January 31st, Devin Hester’s world basically fell around him. The day of the firing, Hester wouldn’t face the media and even said he was contemplating retirement. Hester has backed off that claim but he indicated that maybe he needs a break from Chicago if he’s going to enjoy the last years of his career.
“I’m going to try to get two or three more years in,” the 30-year-old Hester said. “I think I have that much left in me. At the same time, I think I do need a fresh start.”
Hester has been falling off a bit in terms of his play-making abilities with the Bears, and now that Chicago is moving in a new direction with their coaching staff and their schemes, Hester might be phased out. There will always be a place for Hester in the NFL as long as he’s healthy, but Hester says maybe that place isn’t Chicago.
He didn’t say where else he’d want to play, and Hester made sure to reiterate that he’s not making excuses for his sub-par play as of late. But Hester did say he’s been frustrated by his lack of offensive production.
“Not only this year, but the last couple of years it has been like that,” Hester said. “It was really starting to show, why I was frustrated. I’m not making any excuses. I know some of the plays I should have made in terms of catching the ball. But I just wasn’t feeling it. My mind wasn’t there the majority of the time.”
If he does stay in Chicago, Hester says he’d rather not be a part of the offense, and heavily hinted that he’d much rather play somewhere else but stopped short of confirming that suspicion.
“To be honest with you, if I’m still here, I don’t want to play offense,” he said. “I don’t think my role [on offense] will fit. I can’t truly say that with the new offense, but from past experience, I don’t think it will fit. . . .”
Hester still has a year left on his contract, so the only way he’d move to another team is if the Bears traded him or cut him and both seem unlikely.