"To all my Chicago people...I can't thank you all enough for my time in Chicago. I've always said I wanted to retire a Chicago Bear but sometimes things don't work out the way we would like. Chicago will always hold a special place in my heart and if I am fortunate enough to break the return record, we will have all broken it together...no matter where I am. Thank you again and God Bless."
Speculation has been mounting in recent weeks that Hester was finished in Chicago, especially since Ian Rapoport tweeted on Tuesday that the Bears were not attempting to re-sign the veteran return specialist/ wide receiver, but now it appears that things are official.
Hester had contemplated retirement after Lovie Smith was let go following the 2012 season, but returned and was relegated to special teams by the new offensive-minded Marc Trestman.
Regardless of where Hester goes from here, he will always be known as the greatest returner of all-time by Chicago Bears fans.
Best of luck, #23, and thanks for all the memories.
Phil Emery, via the Chicago Bears official website:
"For the past eight seasons we have been honored to have Devin Hester as a part of our organization. While Devin has redefined the pinnacle standard of the return position in the NFL, the memories and contributions he has given us cannot be measured by stats or numbers.
"Not only is Devin a special player, he is also an exceptional person. He is a great teammate, husband and father. Devin represented the organization off-the-field as well as he did on it. When his career is over, he will always be a welcome member of the Bears family. We thank him for his dedication and wish him and his family all the best."