Originally posted on Midway Illustrated  |  Last updated 7/19/12

Devin Hester is the best return man in the history of the NFL.

You would think that is all you'd have to write about Hester given the excitement that builds with every thump of a punt towards him.  The drama is palpable up until the whistle blows or Hester crosses the goal line.

That's part of the fun of having Hester on the team, he's a threat to score a touchdown each time he fields a punt with room to run.

There is little doubt about Hester's ability as a punt returner, but the question now becomes, is that ability enough?

Hester's contract is structured as such that it's an incentive based deal that only gets into the pricey range if Hester meets certain incentives.

Hester has failed to reach those incentives as a productive receiver therefore making his contract hit far less than some fear.

The reason for that lessened salary cap hit is also why Hester is on the hot seat.  Hester still needs to prove to be a valuable weapon to the Chicago Bears to justify his salary, his place on the roster.

Hester however needs to step up as a receiver, especially in the Mike Tice offense.  The recent talk about the installation of a "Devin Hester package" only increases the need for Hester step up and become a part of the offense.

Hester doesn't have to be a number one receiver, we're beyond that type of ridiculous talk.  He does however have to come justify his spot on the roster beyond punt return man extraordinaire.

The Bears need to make the most of all of their play makers on the roster and if Hester is one of those, he needs to produce like it.

We're at a point in the Bears' offense maturation that Hester's value is lessened.  The offense needs to be so sharp and crisp that Hester's value as a return man is severely diminished.

This is not a knock on Hester's ability rather a necessity of the offense consistency and production.  Hester needs to be a part of that offensive resurrection, something we've never really seen in Chicago.

No one can ever take away what Hester has meant to the Chicago Bears, he is peerless.

The offense too needs to produce at another level, and in order for that to happen the Bears need the best possible weapons on the field at all times.

Devin Hester needs to be counted to be that type of threat in the offense especially with the Bear intent on getting him the football.

Because at the end of the day consistency on offense is far more important than the impact Hester will continue to make on special teams.

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