The Atlanta Falcons today announced that they have agreed to terms with wide receiver
Hester, 5-11, 190 pounds, was originally selected by the Chicago Bears in the second round (57th overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft out of Miami (FL). He appeared in 123 games, including 46 starts at wide receiver in eight seasons with the Bears. Hester is one of the most prolific return men in League history as he holds NFL records for punt return touchdowns (13) and combined career return touchdowns (19). He has totaled 3,241 yards on 264 punt returns and his 12.3 yards per return ranks fifth in the NFL history. Hester has also added 5,504 yards and five touchdowns on 222 career kickoff returns.
The three-time Pro Bowler tied the NFL record for return touchdowns in 2013 recording his 19th career return score. Hester has scored touchdowns on 13 punt returns, five kickoff returns and one missed field goal return. Last season, he led the NFL in total return yards with 1,692 and kickoff return yards with 1,436. Additionally, he was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week for the 13th time in his career after setting a single-game franchise record with 249 kick return yards against Minnesota in Week 2.
Hester has been named an All-Pro by the Associated Press three times in his career and was named to the NFL’s All-Decade team by the AP and ESPN for the 2000s. He was the first player in NFL history to return the opening kickoff of a Super Bowl for a touchdown when he returned Super Bowl XLI’s opening kick 92 yards for a score. Hester also set an NFL record with six return touchdowns in his rookie campaign in 2006 and is one of six players in League annals to return two kickoffs for scores in the same game (12/11/06). In addition to his return resume, Hester has also posted 217 receptions for 2,807 yards with 14 touchdowns during his career.
The Riviera Beach, FL native played offense, defense and special teams for the Miami Hurricanes starting games at cornerback, nickelback, running back, and fullback while also seeing time at wide receiver and returning punts and kickoffs during his collegiate career. He returned six kicks for touchdowns, including four punts and a pair of kickoffs. He was named to Walter Camp’s All-America team as the NCAA’s best kick returner, selected by Sporting News as the top kickoff returner, and tabbed first-team All-ACC as a returner during his sophomore season. Hester attended Suncoast High School where he was a Parade All-American and USA Today first-team All-American.