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Jason Hanson unsure whether he’ll return to the Lions or retire

ason Hanson AP

The oldest player in the NFL hasn’t decided yet if he’ll return in 2013. But he has decided that he won’t play elsewhere.

Jason Hanson, the 42-year-old Lions kicker who owns three NFL records (most games played with one team, most seasons played with one team and most career 50-yard field goals) says that if he does come back, it will definitely be with the Lions.

I’m not interested in playing anywhere else, no way,” Hanson told the Detroit Free Press. “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.”

So will Hanson return to the Lions?

“I think so,” Hanson said when asked if he wants to keep playing. “I know I can. 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. . . . I’m not going to do it unless I feel like I can and I’m going to work like I always have.”

What’s also unknown is whether the Lions will bring Hanson back, and if so at what price. Hanson is making $2.5 million this season and becomes an unrestricted free agent after the season, and the Lions would likely want him to take less money if he does come back. Hanson is having a fine season, but you can find kickers who will have a fine season for less than $2.5 million.

It would be perfectly reasonable for the Lions to ask Hanson to take less money, and perfectly reasonable for Hanson to decide that he’s at a point in his life when he doesn’t want to take less money. In which case one of the greatest kickers in NFL history would decide to call it a career.

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16 Responses to “Jason Hanson unsure whether he’ll return to the Lions or retire”
  1. pattyarbuccholz says: Dec 27, 2012 9:38 AM

    It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving if I didn’t see Hanson lining up for a 46 yard field goal attempt. Stick around, buddy.

  2. sparty0n says: Dec 27, 2012 9:46 AM

    For all the bad teams and bad draft picks, the Lions have been steady at the kicker position for 32 years. With Eddie Murray as the kicker before Jason Hanson.

  3. dlions18 says: Dec 27, 2012 9:47 AM

    He rarely kicks one through the back of the endzone during kickoffs. With the Lions shaky special teams it would be nice to see more touchbacks. It would be nice to see him for another season though. Hanson is virtually automatic within 50 yards (excluding the missed 47 yarder in OT vs. Houston).

  4. packh8er says: Dec 27, 2012 10:19 AM

    It would be cool to see him stick around. In all honesty, if they offered him a cool million can you really say he has other prospects to make that kind of cash? Milk it dry IMO, it’s the last time you’ll have that kind of opportunity and it’s not like a Brett Favre thing where he’s destroying his body (and showing too much of it to sideline reporters). It’s always nice to see the older players hang around as long as they’re still relevant. This comes from a Vikings fan as well, would love to see him around another year or two.

  5. downslide33 says: Dec 27, 2012 10:34 AM

    Perhaps it is time for the Lions to cut bait with Hanson. The touchbacks , or lack of, are an issue.

    Also , $2.5 mil is alot of money for a kicker. Detroit should draft a kicker and move on from Hanson.

  6. puba76 says: Dec 27, 2012 11:10 AM

    If they keep him, they have to get a punter who can also drill kickoffs thru the end zone

  7. daknight93 says: Dec 27, 2012 12:04 PM

    Hanson is great, but father time gets everyone and it’s time for younger new blood and 2.5M is too much for a kicker and that isn’t a skilled position, lions need to make better decisions with their money.

  8. fuglyflorio says: Dec 27, 2012 12:12 PM

    You’ll never make this kind of money again. It’d be smart to grab every cent.

  9. sgtdiver says: Dec 27, 2012 12:26 PM

    I have seen hanson kick plenty of touch backs when needed. After the new rule to move the ball closer during kick offs was implemented, the theory was he would kick the ball high and if the return man took it out, we would get better field position. The problem is our special teams forgot how to play football for a few weeks and we quickly became a laughing stock after we gave up 4 td’s in 2 weeks….And don’t forget he actually stepped in as punter and did a pretty good job!!

  10. pacodawg says: Dec 27, 2012 12:41 PM

    Jason cost me a playoff spot by hooking a field goal on Turkey Day. Thanks, Jason.

  11. despenc925 says: Dec 27, 2012 12:47 PM

    it’s awesome I still have tecmo super bowl and he’s the only active player on the game!!

  12. purpblooded says: Dec 27, 2012 1:01 PM

    When the Vikings cut Longwell, I thought it was a mistake, now look at Blair Walsh!

  13. schmitty2 says: Dec 27, 2012 1:05 PM

    pacodawg says:Dec 27, 2012 12:41 PM

    Jason cost me a playoff spot by hooking a field goal on Turkey Day. Thanks, Jason.

    Probably safe to say Jason could care less he messed up you’re little fantasy team

  14. theawesomersfranchise says: Dec 27, 2012 1:53 PM

    One of the few kickers in my 25 years of watching football worth commenting on.

  15. dan7800 says: Dec 27, 2012 2:25 PM

    You cannot retire. This is the last remaining player for SuperBowl Tecmo Bowl for Sega.

  16. whitecastleisafoodgroup says: Dec 27, 2012 4:28 PM

    If he’s better than at least 15 other kickers out there, why not keep going? He’s ranked Top 10-15 depending where you look.

    One of the few kickers that may get into the HOF someday.

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