Chicago Bears kick-return star Devin Hester reported to training camp Friday, ending his holdout while negotiations on a new contract continued. The two-time Pro Bowler has two years left on his deal. Hester, who also played wide receiver last season, skipped the Bears' first two days of practices after watching several teammates get new contracts in the offseason.
A second-round draft pick in 2006, he had said he skipped practices to make a statement that he was serious about a new deal, and that $445,000 a year was not enough money. Hester's financial value is difficult to judge, since he's never started a game on offense and wide receivers earn more than return specialists even those that dazzle.
Hester thrilled fans with 11 punt and kickoff returns for touchdowns in his first two seasons. He also returned a missed field goal 108 yards in 2006 and ran back the opening kickoff in the 2007 Super Bowl 92 yards for a touchdown.