After 21 seasons in the NFL, Jason Hanson cannot be certain he will be back for a 22nd with the Detroit Lions.
The veteran kicker, who has as much service time in the league as some rookies, says he cann’t be for sure at this point.
“I know I can,” Hanson said, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “Like I said, I haven't really processed all that. Just get some of the nagging little kicker owies, toenail hurts, that kind of thing, let that calm down and then just really evaluate because I know I don't want to play anymore unless I know I want to play and feel like I'm going to show up for off-season and run and do all the stuff.”
Finances could play a role in the decision for the team. Hanson is earning $2.5 million this season and they could opt to go for a much cheaper, younger kicker to save a little room under the salary cap. The Lions were pressed against the cap this past offseason and with 25 free agents, they could have similar issues for general manager Martin Mayhew to process in the next two months.
If the Lions gently let Hanson know he’s not in their plans, he says he has no desire to work his craft elsewhere.
“I'm not interested in playing anywhere else, no way,” Hanson said. “If I can't do it here, I can't do it anywhere right now. And with my family — and they know that, so it's not any secret. So yeah, never say never, but I'm not considering any other options other than getting it done here.”
Hanson is 31 of 35 on field-goal attempts this season and that right there will give the Lions a lot to think about when considering replacing him.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune