Broken records and unforgettable highlights are nice but they don't matter in the business of the NFL. The Chicago Bears fans love Devin Hester but with Lovie Smith gone could the team get some value out of him in a trade with the St. Louis Rams?
Hester still a threat despite Jay Cutler favored changes with Bears
No player is past their prime at age 30 but like it or not it does represent an unpleasant barrier that fans know means time has turned against him. When Lovie Smith got his walking papers from Phil Emery the philosophies of football went with him. Chicago now puts their trust in Marc Trestman who intends to score points the old fashioned way: on the right arm of Jay Cutler. Threats to retire aside, that doesn't mean the era of Devin Hester is suddenly over. He still has all the agility and speed that makes him the most dangerous return man in NFL history. The 2012 season is merely looked on as a failure because he didn't score a touchdown. It's easy to forget he went two years in 2008 and 2009 without one before exploding for six over the next two. Special teams scoring is a tricky science but Hester proved he is the best in the world at it. That is why his value is still high, just in the eyes of the right team.
Jeff Fisher can't ignore special teams with unreliable Sam Bradford
Getting a high round draft pick for a return man, even the best of all time, isn't likely but with only five picks in the 2013 draft Chicago can't afford to get greedy. The St. Louis Rams could offer them a fair deal for the rights to Hester. Head coach Jeff Fisher did a remarkable job leading his team to a 7-8-1 finish after they went 2-14 the year before. That said the problems with the Rams offense continue. Sam Bradford has yet to take and even worse the team stands to lose running back Steven Jackson to free agency. Until Fisher can put a consistent offense on the field his best bet is to do what Lovie Smith did, lean on the defense and strengthen the special teams. St. Louis had the 30th ranked unit in the NFL this season. They specifically struggled in the return game. Adding Hester to their lineup won't guarantee touchdowns but his threat alone would give the Rams better field position and make teams more cautious. Fisher won't give up any top picks but St. Louis may surrender something between a 4th and 6th round pick since they have two first rounders in the draft. Either would give the Bears extra chance to help Trestman rebuild the offense.
Devin Hester still has time to do what no return man has ever done by becoming a Hall of Famer. The Chicago Bears know its possible but with their commitment to Jay Cutler it may come with another team. Jeff Fisher and the St. Louis Rams are one good choice.
Photo Credit - Jonathan Daniel