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Devin Hester joins Falcons

Kick returner signing with Falcons Aaron Wilson

Print This March 20, 2014, 03:16 PM EST

Former Chicago Bears kick returner Devin Hester is signing a three-year contract with the Atlanta Falcons, the team announced.

Hester, 31, is a three-time Pro Bowl selection.

The Bears moved on from Hester prior to free agency.

"For the past eight seasons we have been honored to have Devin Hester as a part of our organization," Bears general manager Phil Emery said in a statement. "While Devin has redefined the pinnacle standard of the return position in the NFL, the memories and contributions he has given us cannot be measured by stats or numbers.

"Not only is Devin a special player, he is also an exceptional person. He is a great teammate, husband and father. Devin represented the organization off-the-field as well as he did on it. When his career is over, he will always be a welcome member of the Bears family. We thank him for his dedication and wish him and his family all the best."

Hester is the NFL's all-time leader with 18 kick returner touchdowns and 13 punt return touchdowns.

Hester was named to the NFL's All-Decade Team to the 2000s.

"To all my Chicago people, I can't thank you enough for my time in Chicago," Hester wrote on Facebook. "I've always said I wanted to retire a Chicago Bear but sometimes things don't work out the way we would like. Chicago will always hold a special place in my heart and if I am fortunate enough to break the return record, we will have all broken it together no matter where I am. Thank you again and God bless."

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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun

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