There’s no place like home.
On Wednesday, the Bears announced that former players Devin Hester and Matt Forte will sign one-day contracts with the team on April 23 to retire as members of the Bears organization.
Both Hester and Forte spent their first eight seasons playing football for Chicago, and their legacy will now be retired in orange and navy.
Hester, a Bear from 2006-13, starting setting records his rookie season by recording five touchdown returns and earning Pro Bowl honors while helping the Bears reach Super Bowl XLI, all in his first year.
In one of his most memorable plays as a Bear, Hester ran back a 92-yard kick return touchdown to start Super Bowl XLI not even 20 seconds into the matchup vs. the Indianapolis Colts.
One more time for old time’s sake:
In his overall career with the Bears, Hester set franchise records for punt returns (264), punt return touchdowns (13), punt return touchdowns in a season (4), kickoff returns (222), kickoff return yards (5,504) and kickoff return touchdowns in a single game (2). Over his 11-year career, he’s totaled 20 return touchdowns total — the most in NFL history.
Forte, known as one of the best dual-threat backs in Bears history, also had a breakout rookie season to kickoff his time with the Bears. He recorded 63 receptions, 1,238 total rushing yards and 8 rushing touchdowns.
The two-time Pro Bowler also set a single-season record by notching 102 receptions in 2014. This allowed him to be only one of three running backs in NFL history to record 100+ receptions in a single season.
Collectively with the Bears, Forte ran for 8,602 yards and 45 touchdowns while also adding racking up 4,116 receiving yards and receiving 19 touchdowns.
His 2,035 rushing attempts and 8,602 rushing yards each rank second all-time by running back in Bears history and 11th overall in the NFL.
Welcome home, Devin and Matt. It's good to have you back.