Bear Essentials

Bear Essentials

Hester strikes it rich

Posted by Bob LeGere on Sun, 07/27/2008 - 13:14
A much richer and healthier Devin Hester is expected to join his teammates in today's 3 p.m. practice after agreeing to terms on a four-year contract extension that contains $15 million in guaranteed money and a total of $30 million minimum but could be worth up to $40 million if he reaches all the incentives. According to ESPN.com, the final year of the deal, 2013, includes a $10 million roster bonus if Hester reaches performance levels of a No. 1 receiver over the course of the deal. Hester's base pay for this season is $445,000.

Hester a done deal

Posted by Bob LeGere on Sun, 07/27/2008 - 12:15
The Bears agreed to terms with Pro Bowl return specialist Devin Hester on a four-year contract extension just before noon today. Terms of the deal were not immediately available. Hester’s new contract runs through the 2013 season. After just two seasons, Hester is only 2 kick-return touchdowns away from tying the all-time NFL career record of 13 set by Brian Mitchell in 14 seasons. Hester has 89 punt returns for 1,251 yards, 7 touchdowns and a 14.1-yard average - the highest in NFL history. On 63 kickoff returns Hester has 1,462 yards, 4 touchdowns and a 23.2-yard average. He also has a 108-yard return touchdown on a missed field goal and a 92-yard kickoff return score on the opening play of Super Bowl XLI.

Hester, Williams just watch

Posted by Bob LeGere on Sat, 07/26/2008 - 13:34
Devin Hester attended the Bears' Saturday morning practice that featured a heavy dose of special teams, but he did not participate, even though he did not appear to be hindered by the phantom hamstring injury that is likely to linger until his contract extension is finalized. First-round pick Chris Williams was also just an observer, and the offensive tackle did not appear to be moving particularly well in the wake of the back spasms he suffered Thursday. Veteran backup John St. Clair remains the starting left tackle and could be there for quite a while, perhaps even into the regular season, if Williams misses significant practice time. The Bears have a 7 p.m. practice this evening at ONU's Ward Field.

Hester hopes for weekend return to field

Posted by Bob LeGere on Fri, 07/25/2008 - 17:53
Devin Hester hopes to be back on the practice field by the end of the weekend, but it probably won't happen without a contract extension. Hester ended his two-day holdout by arriving early Friday morning and attending team meetings, but he did not participate in the afternoon practice. Bears coach Lovie Smith blamed it on a tight hamstring, but as soon as the Bears' purse strings loosen up, Hester will be 100 percent. Asked if he would return to practice without a contract extension, Hester said, “I have no comment on that.” Ar first, Hester joked that he showed up at Olivet Nazarene University for a free meal.

Meetings yes; practice no

Posted by Bob LeGere on Fri, 07/25/2008 - 14:09
Pro Bowl return specialist Devin Hester attended special-teams meetings this morning but, according to a Bears team source, is not expected to participate in the 3 p.m. practice in pads, as talks about his contract extension continue. Still, Hester's mere presence has improved the mood around the ONU campus. "I’m not nearly as grumpy as I was yesterday, that’s for sure," said offensive coordinator Ron Turner, who expects Hester to be an integral part of the passing attack this season.

No Hester deal yet; practice status uncertain

Posted by Bob LeGere on Fri, 07/25/2008 - 12:55
There is, as yet, no announcement on a contract extension for Pro Bowl return specialist Devin Hester, who was on the ONU campus in time for breakfast this morning but was not available to comment other than to say he was glad to be here. It also remains to be seen whether Hester will practice today at 3 p.m. without a new deal in place. But, by being here, he avoids the $15,000 a day in fines that the Bears are permitted to assess under the NFL's collective bargaining agreement. A possible scenario is that Hetser dresses for practice but doesn't participate until his extension is finalized.

Hester's here

Posted by Bob LeGere on Fri, 07/25/2008 - 09:02
Devin Hester has arrived in Bourbonnais and is expected to practice at 3 p.m. The Pro Bowl return specialist missed the first two days of training camp in a dispute over the lack of progress in a contract extension that his agent, Eugene Parker, and the Bears have been discussing for months.

Deny everything

Posted by Bob LeGere on Thu, 07/24/2008 - 21:23
After Rashied Davis got behind the first-team defense, and specifically Corey Graham, who was filling in for Charles Tillman, to catch a long TD pass from Kyle Orton Thursday afternoon, safety Mike Brown threw a verbal flag. “Make sure you guys write that he pushed off,” Brown said of Davis' tactics. There was some contact, and Davis may have been flagged in a game situation, but he wasn't admitting anything afterward. “That's up to the refs,” Davis said, looking as innocent as possible. “There's no replay on judgment calls.” I told Davis it just looked like a good veteran move to me. “I don't know even know if I pushed off,” he said. “I was just running my route. The ball was in the air, I jumped up and caught it. Touchdown. Bears win. That's it.”

Wide receiver arrives; not Hester

Posted by Bob LeGere on Thu, 07/24/2008 - 15:34
The Bears signed free-agent wide receiver Ryan Grice-Mullen Thursday, and he was suited up and on the field for the noon practice, although he didn't participate. To make room on the roster, which remains at the NFL maximum of 80, fullback J.D. Runnels was cut. Runnels was a sixth-round pick in 2006 out of Oklahoma, and he palyed briefly in the only two games he was active that year. Runnels spent last season on injured reserve.

Orton's day

Posted by Bob LeGere on Thu, 07/24/2008 - 10:37
In today's noon practice, Kyle Orton gets his first chance of training camp to run the No. 1 offense, and he feels more prepared than ever because this past off-season was the first time he's had the opportunity to get frequent reps with the starters. Orton looks a lot more like an NFL quarterback this year, having lost about 20 pounds and done a lot of agility work in the off-season. The neck beard also looks much better, having been neatly trimmed. Offensive coordinator Ron Turner believes Orton has made huge strides since his rookie season of 2005, when he was thrown in as the starter for 15 games after Grossman was hurt and Chad Hutchinson (remember him?) bombed. The next three weeks will provide a strong indication of how much Orton has grown as a quarterback.