No, Jason Hanson isn’t coming out of retirement but the Lions did sign a kicker actually referred to as Kickalicious…
Thursday, Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com tweeted that the Lions have signed Norwegian kicker Havard Rugland to a contract.
The Lions have signed Norwegian kicker Havard Rugland to a contract.
— Tim Twentyman (@ttwentyman) April 11, 2013
In addition to the Lions there were several teams reportedly having some interest in the Rugland with Cleveland and the New York Jets also holding workouts with him. Rugland, who is an ex-soccer player has made quite a name for himself on YouTube garnering the name Kickalicious after pulling off some pretty amazing trick kicks. He’s also currently working with NFL kicker Michael Husted in California and Florida this offseason.
“He’s got great potential,” Husted told the Los Angeles Times in March. “On the other side, you need more than that. You need connections and to have a little bit of luck on your side. I always tell people that there are kickers who were better than me who did not make it. I was fortunate to have a nine-year NFL career.”
It’s expected that Rugland will compete for the Lions place kicking and punting job during training camp with 38-year old David Akers (who was just signed last Friday) and punter Blake Clingan (who was signed last month).
Now heading into training camp Akers is more than likely the favorite to win the job after signing the $1.005 million dollar contract. However according to Yahoo! Sports Akers isn’t a lock considering he’s only guaranteed $100,000 dollars of his deal by way of a $65,000 dollar signing bonus and $35,000 dollar base salary guarantee.
The terms of Rugland’s contract were not disclosed and there’s no telling how his skills will transfer over to NFL action. Nonetheless it’s going to be fun to see how this develops.
h/t: LA Times, Yahoo! Sports, DetroitLions.com, Detroit Free Press