Atlanta Falcons WR Devin Hester left the Chicago Bears hoping to establish himself on offense. He did just that in 2014, giving quarterback Matt Ryan another viable option in the passing game. But make no mistake: the Falcons primarily wanted Hester in Atlanta because of his returning ability. Sure, he made the Falcons more dynamic on offense. But he also gave them a returner teams won't even kick to most of the time. That's truly invaluable.
We didn't have to wait long to see why Hester is a presumptive Hall of Fame returner. With Deion Sanders on hand, he set the all-time touchdown return record against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last September. For that heroic feat, Hester was recently nominated for an ESPY award; the winner will be announced next month.
Hester was nominated in this year's category of Best Record-Breaking Performance for his 20th career return touchdown last season against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Hester returned a punt 62 yards for a score in the Falcons' 56-14 dismantling of the Bucs.
I won't lie, Hester should win this award. To be sure, his competition is impressive. But I'm an enormous homer and I say Hester should win. And as such, he will win. Handily.