Credit: Brian Cassella / Tribune Photo

NFL Free Agency: Johnny Knox's Release May Effect Devin Hester's Future with Bears

Johnny Knox hasn’t played a down for the Chicago Bears since 2011 and he’s not going to play a down for them in 2013. The Bears have announced that they’ve cut the receiver, making him a free agent this offseason.

Knox suffered a brutal injury in 2011 when he was literally bent over backwards in a game against the Seattle Seahawks.

Dec 18, 2011; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears receivers Johnny Knox (13) and Devin Hester (23) before the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Due to the injury, Knox required surgery and missed the remainder of the Bears 2011 season. There was some hope that he’d be back in time to play some portion of the 2012 season and he even showed up and participated in training camp, but he was never put in real contact situations and never showed he was healthy enough to return to the lineup.

Knox was due $1.26 million form the Bears this upcoming season, but it’s still unclear if he’ll ever be able to return to the field ever again. If he can show teams he’s healthy, he will get work again as he’s a decent receiver and dangerous return man. But not playing football for going on a year and a half isn’t helping his value, despite the skills he may have possessed.

On interesting ripple effect form this might be that decision to cut Knox may have a serious impact on Devin Hester’s future with the team. Hester an Knox had a great and close friendship in Chicago, and Hester has already stated reservations about his future with the Bears. If Knox hits the open market and Hester is somehow cut, Hester might push for a package deal that could end up paying off big for whoever takes a chance on it.

But for now, all we know is Knox’s football future is in doubt and his time with Bears is done.

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Chicago Bears Devin Hester Johnny Knox NFC NFL NFL Free Agency