March 21, 2014 in Sports

NFL notebook: Return specialist Devin Hester signs with Falcons

Associated Press photo

Devin Hester has scored on 13 punt returns, five kickoff returns and a missed field goal in career.
(Full-size photo)

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.

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.

Cardinals sign Pro Bowl cornerback Cromartie

The Arizona Cardinals 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. He also had eight passes defensed and one forced fumble. He was released by the Jets on March 9.

For his career, Cromartie, the No. 19 overall pick by the San Diego Chargers in the 2006 draft, has 28 interceptions, 97 passes defensed, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. He has had two interceptions in the playoffs.

Around the league

Safety Charles Woodson has agreed to a one-year deal to remain with the Oakland Raiders…. FB Bruce Miller signed a three-year contract extension with the San Francisco 49ers, ensuring they can keep a key member of the team’s running game through the 2017 season…. The Cincinnati Bengals have signed QB Jason Campbell to be Andy Dalton’s backup…. Pittsburgh Steelers 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…. The Houston Texans have signed veteran free agent QB Ryan Fitzpatrick to a two-year deal…. The Carolina Panthers announced they’ve signed free agent WR Jerricho Cotchery to a two-year contract, helping rebuild a depleted wide receiving corps…. Free agent DE Corey Wootton has agreed to terms with the Minnesota Vikings.

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