For a while it looked like Jason Hanson would be back kicking with the Detroit Lions. It seemed he wanted to keep kicking after certainly showing the ability was still there, and he stated that he would only do so for the Lions.
But the Lions offered a minimum contract, perhaps thinking that is all it would take to bring back Hanson for a 22nd year. Perhaps they over-played the situation or perhaps it just didn’t work out. Ultimately, Hanson has decided to retire, citing the wear and tear of a heel injury as the biggest reason.
Long-time Lions kicker Jason Hanson has announced his retirement from the NFL after 21 seasons.
— Tim Twentyman (@ttwentyman) April 4, 2013
The Lions brought in veteran kicker David Akers for a visit earlier this week but he left without a deal. Where the Lions go from here remains to be seen. They could choose to go with a retread like Akers while they address other needs through the draft, or they could use a late pick on a kicker hoping to add a guy who could man the position for a decade or more like Hanson and Eddie Murray before him.
With Hanson’s retirement, the Lions no longer have any active players remaining from the Barry Sanders-era.