Devin Hester needs just 1 return touchdown to give him a career total of 20 to break his tie with Hall of Famer Deion Sanders for the all-time NFL record.
But if that happens next season, Hester won't claim the record in a Bears uniform, which he wore for his first 19 return touchdowns (13 punts, 5 kickoffs and 1 missed field goal return).
On Thursday afternoon, Hester agreed to terms on a three-year deal with the Atlanta Falcons.
The 31-year-old Hester, who was a second-round draft pick of the Bears in 2006 out of Miami, led the NFL with 1,436 kickoff-return yards last season, and his 27.6-yard average was sixth best in the league. Hester's 14.2-yard punt-return average would have been third best, but his 18 attempts were 2 short of qualifying for NFL leaders.
Hester collected $2.1 million in his final season with the Bears, and he was seeking a deal in the neighborhood of $4 million a year, although financial terms of his contract with the Falcons were not immediately available.
Hester already is the NFL's all-time leader in combined kick-return and punt-return touchdowns with 18 (missed FG returns don't count). He has just 1 score in the last two seasons (on 134 attempts), since he scored on 3 returns (2 punts, 1 kickoff) in 2011.
A three-time Pro Bowl pick (2006, '07 and '10), Hester scored 11 return touchdowns in his first two seasons with the Bears on 152 chances.
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