For the first time in 22 seasons, the Detroit Lions will have someone else kicking their field goals.
Thursday veteran place kicker Jason Hanson announced his retirement after 21-years in Detroit. Hanson’s retirement more than likely comes on the heels of the organization and himself being unable to come to terms on a new contract for the 2013 season. According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, the Lions gave Hanson a take it or leave it offer earlier in the month for an estimated $1 million dollars. Salary wise it’s assumed that number is based off 38-year old Phil Dawson’s most recent contract with the 49ers for $2.35 million. Hanson also mentioned he had no desire to kick for another team.
Detroit certainly got their money’s worth though for their veteran kicker.
Originally a second-round draft pick back in 1992, Hanson currently holds NFL records for most 50-yard field goals (52) and games played with one team (327). In addition Hanson also ranks third in the NFL for most field goals kicked (495) and points (2,150).
Signs that Hanson was on his way out were becoming pretty apparent in the last couple of weeks. Aside from not being anywhere close in contract negotiations the Lions worked out 38 year old David Akers who was most recently released by the 49ers. The Lions have also reportedly worked out kickers Justin Medlock and Havard Rugland prior to the start of free agency.
Akers though remains intriguing.
Coming off an injury riddled year in which he made only 13 of 42 field-goal attempts, he is a six-time Pro Bowler who has had experience kicking in big games. And despite leaving town on Tuesday without a contract you wonder if the Lions will revisit Akers given the latest Hanson news.