The 30-year-old Hester has one year left on his contract.
"I don't even know if I want to play again," Hester said. "That's been something on my mind for two years.
"It's not (much fun for me anymore). I've got my workers comp papers in my pocket. We'll see how I feel. I'm going to go home and talk to my wife and talk to my family and see where we go from there. I got two beautiful kids, man, two boys. A lot of stress has been on my mind lately."
Brian Urlacher has been one of Smith's strongest supporters and said he was shocked at the news. But Urlacher cautioned that some players would say things they didn't necessarily mean.
"We're all mad right now," Urlacher said on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "We lost our head coach, they fired him, and we're all mad. We're going to say some things that we don't mean."
Hester, who didn't clarify the "workers comp" statement, said the stress has been production-related. One of the greatest return men in the history of the NFL, Hester never fully made the transition to receiver. His number of catches has declined each season from 57 in 2009 to 23 this season.
"Not being able to showcase my talents the way I want them to be able to be showcased. It's stressful," Hester said.
He was asked whether a change of scenery would help.
"Who knows? If it's the right place ... if not, I feel like I've done enough in the league to where I established myself (as) one of the elite players to ever play the game," he said. "God blessed me with seven years. The average years of an NFL player is about three. I made some accomplishments on my own, some goals I reached, some other goals I felt I could have achieved."
ESPNChicago.com's Jeff Dickerson contributed to this report.