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Devin Hesteragreed to a three-year contract with the Falcons on Thursday, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported. The team later confirmed the news.
The Falcons desperately needed an upgrade in the return game. Atlanta ended 2013 10th in kickoff-return average (24.4) and 20th in punts (8.2) last season. They were also one of four teams in 2013 without a punt return over 25 yards or a kick return of over 50 yards, per ESPN's Field Yates.
Solely a returner with the Chicago Bears, Hester, 31, represents a major upgrade over Jacquizz Rodgers on kick returns and Robert McClain on punt returns.
Playing inside the Georgia Dome -- as opposed to the sloppy Soldier Field -- should aid Hester as he ages.
The return specialist is the NFL's all-time leader in punt return touchdowns (13) and total kick return touchdowns (18). Hester also returned a missed field-goal attempt 108 yards for a touchdown. Hester's 19 regular-season return TDs ties Hall of Famer Deion Sanders for the most in league history.
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