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Chicago Bears' Devin Hester (23) is tackled by Green Bay Packers' John Kuhn on a punt return during the second half of an NFL football game Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
NFL notes: Ex-Bear Devin Hester joining Falcons
NFL notes » Atlanta hoping he can bolster special-teams play.
First Published Mar 20 2014 05:48 pm • Last Updated Mar 20 2014 07:46 pm

The Atlanta Falcons have agreed to terms with return specialist Devin Hester.

The team announced the deal Thursday. The 31-year-old Hester is a three-time Pro-Bowler who last year tied an NFL record with his 19th scoring return in eight seasons with the Chicago Bears. Coming off a dismal 4-12 season, the Falcons are hoping he can bolster a unit that ranked 28th in the league in kickoff return yards and 21st in punt return yards.

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Hester has scored on 13 punt returns, five kickoff returns and off a missed field goal. In 2013, he led the NFL in kickoff return yards (1,436) and total return yards (1,692).

In addition, Hester has 217 receptions for 2,807 yards and 14 touchdowns in his career.

Terms of Hester’s contract were not immediately available.

Around the league

Panthers • Carolina finally started the process of replenishing its wide receiving corps, signing free agent Jerricho Cotchery to a two-year contract. Financial terms of the deal were not released. Cotchery has spent 10 seasons in the NFL, the last three with Pittsburgh.

Cardinals • Arizona agreed on the terms of a one-year contract with free agent cornerback Antonio Cromartie. A three-time Pro Bowl selection, Cromartie spent the past four seasons with the New York Jets. He led the Jets last season with three interceptions.

Raiders • Safety Charles Woodson agreed to a one-year deal to extend his second stint with Oakland to a second season.


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Bengals • Cincinnati signed quarterback Jason Campbell to be Andy Dalton’s backup. Campbell started his nine-year career with Washington. He also has played for Oakland, Chicago and Cleveland, where he started eight of the Browns’ last nine games last season.

Dolphins • Free agent running back Knowshon Moreno has scheduled a visit with Miami, which is looking to upgrade its ground game. Moreno, a five-year veteran, had his best season in 2013 when he rushed for 1,038 yards, caught 60 passes and scored 13 touchdowns with Denver.

Steelers • Pittsburgh president Art Rooney II says the NFL has told the team it will not be docked a pick in this year’s draft for coach Mike Tomlin’s foray onto the field against Baltimore last November. Tomlin was fined $100,000 for stepping onto the field during a lengthy kickoff return by Baltimore’s Jacoby Jones.



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