Ever since the Chicago Bears fired Lovie Smith and Devin Hester had his now infamous hissy fit proclaiming he wanted to retire, I have been trying to figure out exactly what he is so angry and frustrated with.
At a glance Hester appears to be getting a handsome salary in 2013, his base salary will be $1,857,523, coupled with a $10,000,000 roster bonus. So it appears on the face of things that the GM Phil Emery should be furious that he is on the hook for such a large cap hit, from such a mediocre performer in recent seasons.
Well the excellent news (from a franchise viewpoint anyway) is that the $10M bonus is “de-escalating.” Which basically means that in Hester’s case it is a performance based set of bonuses. If he fails to live up to the performance goals, the bonus de-escalates, one would assume drastically.
When the contract was initially signed, the large bonus was contingent on Hester’s numbers at wide receiver being consistent with a No. 1. We all know that this has never been the case. Given Hester’s performance over recent seasons, it is safe to assume that his 2013 bonus will de-escalate massively, more than possible by 80-90%.
That would leave his 2013 cap figure at around $2.9-$3.9M with a possible saving for the Bears if they so choose to cut and run at $1.85M.
Hester has seen less and less of the ball in recent seasons, partly because he runs terrible routes, drops catch-able balls (despite the ‘best hands in camp’ comments every preseason), his return figures are down and frankly not only is he still ‘football stupid’, he has also been playing scarred for at least the past two seasons.
When you put it in context, Hester will never be a no.1 receiver; he doesn’t have the talent in my opinion, so he is at an impasse in his career as to how he and his agent best package his next contract negotiation.
My point is this, when you look at how much he is actually earning as opposed to what he could have earned, coupled with the frustratingly bad Offensive Coordinators, and the fact he could do no wrong in Lovie’s eyes, it becomes pretty easy to see how on a morning where his whole world must have felt like it was crashing down around him, that he let his frustrations get the better of him.
Let’s face it, he can run at a mental pace, but he isn’t the smartest chap on the football field is he.