View Full Version : Chicago Writer calling for Hester Trade

07-25-2008, 09:26 PM
Each day I check out Google news for articles on the NFL

This morning I found an interesting article out of the Chicago Tribune by Dan Pompei.

He raises some interesting points that have some merit about the bears and their relationship with Devon Hester.


Call me crazy, but it's time for Bears to trade Hester
by Dan Pompei Chicago Tribune

No one, with the possible exception of Bears coach Lovie Smith, appreciates the abilities of Devin Hester more than I do. He is a player unlike any other I have seen in more than 20 years covering the NFL.

Hester can affect games as much as any player in the NFL. With that in mind, if I were the Bears, I would be calling every NFL team to see which ones were interested in acquiring him.

My guess is quite a few, and they would be willing to compensate the Bears handsomely for Hester's rights.

This is the perfect time to trade Hester—when his returning skills are at their peak and before he has shown what he cannot do as a wide receiver.

As a third-year player with a low salary-cap figure, Hester on the trade market would be as hot a commodity as a snowblower after a November blizzard.

A lot of teams could convince themselves Hester is the one player who could make the difference for their season. And they might not be wrong. Could you imagine Hester on the Chargers? The Jaguars? The Giants? Hester could have an instant impact on any team as a returner.

Some team, I wager, would pay a foolish price for Hester. Maybe a first-round pick, two second-round picks and a third. Maybe more. And if a team isn't willing to overpay the Bears for Hester, no deal. Keep him and try to come to a contract resolution.

It could be the kind of trade that sets up a franchise for a long time. The 1985 Super Bowl Bears were hatched in the 1983 draft.

That year, the Bears stocked up on picks and subsequently were able to select Willie Gault, Pat Dunsmore and Mark Bortz with draft choices that initially belonged to other teams. And they used their own picks to select Jim Covert, Mike Richardson, Dave Duerson, Tom Thayer and Richard Dent.

Hester's contract demands will complicate any deal. The interested party will have to give Hester a sizable signing bonus and have the available cap space to deal with a ponderous contract. But Hester's history should make him irresistible to some teams.

What would the Bears be without Hester? The better question is what will they be with him? The realistic answer to both questions is probably not very good. They probably are a year or two away from contending anyway.

If the Bears—or Hester's agent Eugene Parker—are counting on Hester becoming an All-Pro wide receiver, they are taking a giant leap of faith into a shallow pool. The coaches at the University of Miami desperately tried to take advantage of Hester's skills at wide receiver, and they couldn't make it happen. Bears coaches did not have much more success last year. It's possible that over time Hester will catch on. But Hester becoming a star wideout isn't anything anyone should expect to happen—especially the people in charge of the payroll at Halas Hall.

Recent NFL history provides relevant examples of outstanding returners who tried and failed to become outstanding wide receivers. Steve Smith of the Panthers did it, but he was a two-time all-conference wide receiver in college at Utah. He never was considered only a return specialist.

Dante Hall was the NFL's great returner before Hester, which prompted the Chiefs to try to make him a dominant wide receiver. He never had more than 40 catches in a season.

Three of the five teams Desmond Howard played on thought they could get more out of the return specialist on offense. Howard was a Super Bowl MVP and a Pro Bowler as a return man, but he never could beat the jam as a wide receiver.

The point is, the knack to return kicks and punts does not translate necessarily to the skills needed to play wide receiver.

And there is this to consider. Hester might not be the return man he has been for much longer. Returners tend to last only slightly longer than most campaign promises. With the exception of Mel Gray, almost every great return man in recent NFL history has been unable to sustain dominance for more than a few years.

Part of the reason for this is opponents will take away opportunities by kicking away from special returners. That's already happening to Hester, and he will be given fewer and fewer returnable kicks over time. But there is more to it.

Multiple, high-impact collisions lead to less speed and quickness, and maybe even less aggressiveness. The violent nature of the game tends to affect returners more than other players because they are so reliant on quickness.

When returners take on greater loads on offense, their returns almost always suffer. I once had a discussion about this with Dick Vermeil, who started out as a special teams coach before becoming head coach of the Eagles, Rams and Chiefs.

"I've studied this history better than most people have" Vermeil said. "When they start going backward on the returns, it's normally because they are playing full-time either as a running back, defensive back or wide receiver. The mental preparation is different. The competitiveness at that position isn't as intense as it was when he was just a returner."
Hester is backing the Bears into a corner. But it could be a very fortuitous place for them to be.

The comments by Vermeil about special teamers and return guys is so true. I have never heard it put this way but the level of intensity certainly has to come into question.

07-25-2008, 09:34 PM
Makes a lot of sense to me. What are the chances of him duplicating his past results this year, let alone further down the road. He's a one trick pony, granted its been a really neat trick so far, but the odds are stacked high against continued success. Compound that with the fact that he's already squawking about getting paid huge money.....sounds like a good time to call Jerry Jones.

07-25-2008, 09:38 PM
I guess it does make sense, but Hester is all that team has on offense. Let's face it. Hester IS their offense. LOL

07-26-2008, 12:14 AM
Didn't you forget Rex Grossman? :chuckle:

07-26-2008, 05:20 AM
I disagree with you guys based on on-field performance. He's a game breaker, and I certainly wouldn't trade him unless he was an attitude problem in the locker room…..

07-26-2008, 07:28 AM
That guy is scary.

07-26-2008, 01:23 PM
He's a game breaker,

How many games did he break for Chicago with this fumble problems on returns? This is why Cribbs is a better special teamer than Hester. He's much more conistent, even if he doesn't break for as many TDs.

The Duke
07-26-2008, 02:03 PM
How many games did he break for Chicago with this fumble problems on returns? This is why Cribbs is a better special teamer than Hester. He's much more conistent, even if he doesn't break for as many TDs.

cribbs is better, but hester is way more important to his team. like missedgehead said, he is their offense, and that's sad

07-26-2008, 03:16 PM
He's already squaking about a new big-money contract when all he can do is return punts and kicks.

IMHO, the Bears shouldn't give him a new deal until he was one year left on his current deal. He hasn't "outperformed" his contract because as a second round choice, he expected to be more than a return specialist and so far he has shown that he cannot do anything else.

07-26-2008, 03:22 PM
he expected to be more than a return specialist and so far he has shown that he cannot do anything else.

Hey, like Paul Simon once sang

He's a one trick pony,
but he turns that trick with pride:hatsoff: