The most accomplished return man in the history of the NFL no longer has a team. According to ESPN, the Atlanta Falcons are releasing Devin Hester. The move does not come as a big surprise to the veteran, as he has been having issues with injuries over the past year.
Thanks to a toe injury, Devin Hester missed much of the 2015 season. When you are required to be one of the most elusive guys on the field, that is one of the worst injuries that you can suffer. Surgery was required in January, and Hester has mostly avoided the football field since then.
Devin Hester is 33-years-old and has been in the NFL since the Chicago Bears drafted him back in 2006. He understands that professional football is a business. That is why he understands that the Atlanta Falcons had to do what was best for the team heading into the regular season.
Falcons release Devin Hester, who is recovering from toe surgery. Hester: NFL record for most career return TD (20). pic.twitter.com/zJgpdXr5xb
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 26, 2016
Throughout his career, Devin Hester has been to the Pro Bowl game four different times. All of those were due to his work on special teams, as opposed to what he produced as a wide receiver. Not a lot of special team players are rewarded like that.
As of right now, Devin Hester holds both NFL records when it comes to scoring touchdowns on returns. The Florida resident has 20 touchdowns from kickoff returns. Hester also has 14 touchdowns from punt returns. Teams love having that type of threat because it means that opponents has to dedicate more attention to special teams.
Devin Hester has yet to reveal what his intentions are after being released by the Atlanta Falcons. There is a chance that he could try to find another NFL team to join before the regular season starts. However, much of that will depend on whether or not he is healthy enough to take the field.
By releasing Devin Hester, the Atlanta Falcons are saving approximately $3 million in salary cap space. That money could come in quite handy whenever NFL teams start releasing veterans in favor of more reasonably priced younger players. The Falcons could find themselves a last-minute gem to help them get back to the playoffs.
According to AtlantaFalcons.com, the team has some replacements in mind for Devin Hester. Devin Fuller, Tevin Coleman, Eric Weems, and a handful of other players will do battle throughout the summer to see who can try to fill the big shoes left by the departure of Hester.
Earlier this year, the Atlanta Falcons made some headlines when they released Roddy White. The veteran wide receiver went from being one of the most important players on the roster to being someone that was barely used towards the end of the season.
Even with the loss of Devin Hester and Roddy White, the Atlanta Falcons should be able to move on just fine. Training camp is right around the corner. Replacements can be found from the incoming class of players. Hester was a luxury, so a competent return man is all that is needed. The Falcons also have the luxury of Matt Ryan as their starting quarterback.
With the direction that the NFL is heading towards, Devin Hester could permanently hold on to his return records. The league has been wanting to downplay special teams so that their players will be at least risk of serious injuries. A guy like Hester could be the last of his kind.
Considering the type of injury that he suffered and what it means to a player of his type, this could be the last people have seen of Devin Hester. Fortunately for him, he can walk away with his head held high.
[Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images]
NFL Rumors: Atlanta Falcons Releasing Devin Hester is an article from: The Inquisitr News
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