For the past two decades, no other man has kicked for the Detroit Lions. Jason Hanson has been the man and he has been ever since his rookie season back in the early 90s. But as Hanson enters his 22nd season in the NFL, it’s looking more and more like Jason Hanson’s time in Detroit has come to an end, as not only have the Lions failed to reach an agreement on a contract with the kicker, they’re bringing in another one to audition for the job. According to the Detroit Free Press, the Lions will visit with free agent David Akers next week.
Despite his years of services, the Lions never said they were guaranteed to bring Hanson back for his 22nd season with the team, but they still have the utmost respect for him and all he’s done.
“It’s not a system that provides for a lot of allowance for sentimentality,” Lions team president Tom Lewand said. “We have the utmost respect for Jason and want to have him back, but it’s a situation where everything has to fit. The salary cap is a real restraint for all 32 clubs, and we have to operate within that and within our plans. So we’ve had our discussions with Jason and, like I said, we have the utmost respect for him personally and professionally, which is why we want to have him back.”
The Lions don’t currently have another kicker on roster, which means if they do part ways with Hanson, they’ll need someone from the outside to fill his shoes. Akers had a so-so year with the San Francisco 49ers in 2012, starting the year by making a 63-yard field goal and ending it by not being able to make a kick to save his job.
There is still a chance that the Lions work out s deal with Hanson, but it’s looking like they may move in a different direction and as weird as it sounds to say about a kicker, Hanson leaving the Lions would truly be the end of an epic era.