Bears confirm Hester won't return next season

The Chicago Bears say they will not re-sign record-setting return specialist Devin Hester.

The team said Thursday in a statement it is parting ways with the three-time Pro Bowl pick after eight seasons, confirming what he told the NFL Network the previous day. So instead of a return to Chicago, he'll hit the market as a free agent.

General manager Phil Emery said the Bears were "honored" to have Hester and he "redefined the pinnacle standard of the return position."