So, was this a good move by the Falcons?
Assuming that they didn’t overpay for Hester, this is a ‘why not’ type of deal. Why not take a chance on Hester recapturing some of his old magic in 2014? As long as his role is kept solely to that of a return man, I like this signing by the Falcons.
Hester is 31-years old, but he still displayed flashes of greatness during the 2013 season. While he failed to take a kick to the house, he did average 14.2 yards per punt return and 27.6 yard per kick return. Those are both good averages that almost any team in the league would take. It’s just that is his time in Chicago was clearly up. Both sides needed to move on.
Do I see Hester staying in the ATL for the full length of his new deal? No way. If he fails to be the game-changer he once was, the Falcons will drop him like a bad habit. Hester is now in a ‘prove it’ situation. Either he proves himself to a special teams commodity, or he’ll be looking for another new team next offseason.
There’s likely going to be little financial risk for the Falcons in this deal, and that’s what fans should ultimately look at. Hester is still a top-tier return man and you never know — he might be due for a huge season once again. That’s the small gamble Atlanta is presumably taking.