Free agent WR/KR Devin Hester tells TMZ Sports that he definitely plans to play for an NFL team this season. According to Hester, there are 14 teams who have already expressed interest in him.
“I can’t say much now, but I’m getting close,” Hester said. “(I) got 14 teams waiting on me.”
Hester did not offer any specifics regarding which teams are currently interested in him.
Last month, Hester said that he was waiting for a clean bill of health before signing with a new team.
“Teams already have tried to sign me, but I’m not ready to go,” Hester said, via Vaughn McClure of ESPN. “We told teams that I’m not ready to practice, still rehabbing.”
Hester did, however, admit that he will retire from the NFL is he’s not fully healthy by October.
In regards to his toe injury, Hester explained that it just hasn’t healed as they had hoped it would.
“Some of the ligaments are still not healed up all the way,” Hester said. “It’s getting better now. [Running] straight ahead, I’m good. It’s just when I start going lateral, my toe flares up. It’s going to take time with that. I don’t know if it’s going to be a two-week process or three or maybe four. And I told [the Falcons] that. And I told them I wasn’t signing the paper saying I was ready to play.
“It’s a business. I understand that. The healing process was supposed to be four to six months. It’s been longer than what we expected.”
Hester, 33, is a former second-round pick of the Bears back in 2006. After eight years with the Bears, Hester signed a three-year, $9 million contract with Atlanta and was set to make a base salary of $3.5 million for the 2016 season when the Falcons released him in a move that freed up $3 million in available cap space.
In 2015, Hester was limited to appearing in just five games for the Falcons and totaling 235 kick return yards and 34 punt return yards.