Earlier in the week, it became public knowledge that the Atlanta Falcons were hosting legendary kick returner Devin Hester in the city, and now, it appears as if that visit has resulted in Hester signing a lucrative contract with the team.
Former Bears return specialist Devin Hester agreed to terms on a 3-year deal with the Atlanta Falcons, per ESPN source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 20, 2014
While details were not disclosed in the initial report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the deal is for three seasons (although every deal in the NFL is “flexible”), and it can be widely assumed that Hester will take on all return responsibilities for the team from the moment he arrives in Flowery Branch. There is some worry about Hester’s age now that he is 31 years old, but the former Chicago Bear led the league in return yardage last season (!!!), and of course, he is the NFL’s all-time leader in career return touchdowns.
The newly-signed Javier Arenas likely would have been penciled in for some return duties if not for this latest signing, but with Hester on board, it’s a safe bet that he is now “plan B” at best. As for Hester, the Falcons aren’t really a team that desperately needs help at the wide receiver spot, but he could be occasionally useful there in the screen game, and he presents a return specialist that the organization hasn’t seen since the height of the Allen Rossum era (where he made the Pro Bowl).
Until the financials are disclosed, there is no downside, and even then, I would be surprised if this was a violent overpay by the team.