Should the Oakland Raiders sign Devin Hester, the all-time leader in return touchdowns?
The Atlanta Falcons released return man Devin Hester earlier this week.
Hester, 33, holds the NFL record for return touchdowns with 20. The four-time Pro Bowl selection also holds the NFL record for punt return touchdowns with 14.
Hester missed 11 games with a toe injury last season. The former Bears and Falcons returner had surgery on that injury in July.
In 2015, Hester returned nine kickoffs for 235 yards, which was the second lowest of his career.
The 2006 No. 47 overall pick of Chicago returned eight puts for 34 yards for Atlanta in 2016. His 4.3 yards per punt return last season were the lowest of his career.
However, Hester maintains that he still wants to play, according to ESPN.
Could the specialist find a role with the Oakland Raiders?
Oakland has left much to be desired in the return game. They averaged 23.9 return yards on kick return in 2015, which puts them in the middle of the league.
Added, the Raiders 6.3 average return per punt ranked them No. 28 in the NFL. Both return teams failed to reach the endzone.
In 2016, it does not seem like it will get any better. Both Taiwan Jones and T.J. Carrie are slated to return as starters at kick returner and punt returner, respectively.
Nonetheless, Oakland is open to changing that. The Raiders are looking for consistency at the position. They could evaluate several options in the return game, according to Raiders Insider Scott Bair.
"Young receiver Joe Hansley has experience as a returner, and should get an opportunity to show his skill. Jaydon Mickens is learning a largely new role, and DeAndre Washington is showing an ability to contribute to on offense and special teams. They’ll have to show better than game tape on Jones and Carrie to step in."
That said, Hester could leap-frog the young guys as a proven return man.
Oakland could use an explosive return man to give their offense better field position. A player like Hester can also change the game by scoring on a return.
Regardless, their are bigger questions about Hester’s ability. His age, injury history and declining production could prevent Oakland from signing him.
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