Two weeks after parting ways with the Chicago Bears, Devin Hester is finally testing the waters.
Follow all the developments on the NFL’s open market with our up-to-the-minute tracking of 2014’s free agents. More…
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported the wide receiver and return man will meet with the Atlanta Falcons on Tuesday, marking his first free-agent visit of the offseason, according to a source informed of the player’s schedule.
Hester also received interest from Miami and told the South Florida Sun Sentinel last week that he’d “love to play for the Dolphins.”
One of the greatest return men in league history, Hester — even at 31 — still has plenty to offer on special teams. He led the NFL in kickoff-return yardage last season, finished sixth in kick-return average and thrived in a more limited role as a punt returner.
The Falcons are looking for a special-teams upgrade after hosting former Denver Broncos returner Trindon Holliday, who ultimately signed with the New York Giants. Adding Hester to the mix would allow running back Jacquizz Rodgers to hand over kickoff-return duties and cornerback Robert McClain to jettison punt returns. Atlanta finished 10th in kickoff-return average (24.4) and 20th in punts (8.2) last season.
The Falcons were 1 of 4 teams in 2013 without a PR over 25 yards & a KO over 50 yards. The interest in Devin Hester adds up.
â Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 18, 2014
Hester would represent an upgrade for the Falcons, but with as many as 13 teams interested, general manager Thomas Dimitroff might want to think about locking down the former Windy City jitterbug sooner than later.
The “Around The League Podcast” breaks down the latest free agency moves and highlights a few under-the-radar signings.