Jason Hanson still hasn’t decided whether to return for season 22

AP

Kicker Jason Hanson, 42, has spent 21 years in the NFL — all with the Lions.  Hanson hasn’t decided whether to return for season number 22.

“I still have just been taking my time to really figure it out and make sure that I’m making the right decision and so I haven’t officially decided yet,” Hanson said Saturday, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.  “I’ve been in contact with the Lions.  I’m around and so I’m not hiding, but I told them I just really want to take my time and make sure that I’m not making a mistake by coming back and not going to regret that I left if I do so I’m just taking my time.”

Hanson has no contract for 2013, which means he’ll become a free agent on March 12.  On Friday, Lions president Tom Lewand said that the two sides “haven’t come to any agreement about a contract going forward.”

Hanson hopes his decision will come “sometime in the next weeks,” but then he admitted he doesn’t “know what that means.”

“They’d like to know probably now so they can make plans,” Hanson said, “but I just think sometime in the next few weeks I got to make a decision.”

He’s right.  If he’s not coming back, the Lions need to be able to pursue other free agents, or to make plans to draft a kicker or sign a rookie free agent.

Hanson arrived as a second-round pick in the 1992 draft.  He was a rookie during Barry Sanders’ fourth NFL season.

28 responses to “Jason Hanson still hasn’t decided whether to return for season 22

  1. 22 years straight with the same team is an amazing accomplishment and worthy of HOF consideration. With that said, please come back for a 23rd season it’d be a shame for the Lions to lose their one constant over the ups and downs (mostly downs) of the last two decades

  2. I am sure his accountant, and wife, will explain that he can still make a few million dollars by coming back.

  3. If you can still kick at an NFL level, come back. You can always return to normal life, but when the NFL window closes, it’s closed. The grass is always greener…..

  4. He was there for their one playoff win in the last 50 years, and the only 0-16 season in NFL history. He’s seen the absolute best and worst of Lions football.

  5. It is awesome that he has been able to spend 21 years in the NFL and on top of that all with the same team. I bet he could easily write a book on all of the things he has seen over the years, possibly two. The players he has played with from Barry Sanders to Charlie Batch, from Joey Harrington to Calvin Johnson and all the way to Ndamukong Suh. What a career!

  6. He is still producing at a quality and consistent level. Kicker is not an easy position to fill. Come back, Jason.

  7. The remarkable part is that this guy had one of the 3 best years of his career at age 42. He’s still very able to hit from 50 plus and he put up 134 points!

    Clearly, he is still very, very valuable.

  8. Actually, the Lions only playoff win came in 1991 against the Dallas Cowboys. Hanson was drafted for the following season. I would love for JH to come back and for the team to play all out for him just to at least let him win a playoff game.

  9. It’s no surprise a good kicker could last 22 years with the lions. Until last two years he was probably better preserved than a lawnmower at the Silverdome. How hard could it have been to kick off once in either half, warm up for a couple long field goals and then sit down to a cool gatorade? Punters? Good for two years or so.

  10. yelix says:
    Feb 16, 2013 9:07 PM
    He was there for their one playoff win in the last 50 years, and the only 0-16 season in NFL history. He’s seen the absolute best and worst of Lions football.
    ———————————-
    Actually, and unfortunately, the best of Lions football was in the early 50’s with Bobby Layne and Doak Walker.

  11. yelix says:Feb 16, 2013 9:07 PM

    He was there for their one playoff win in the last 50 years, and the only 0-16 season in NFL history. He’s seen the absolute best and worst of Lions football.
    ________________

    Not there for the best … the Lions won NFL Championships in 1935, 1952, 1953 and 1957. They weren’t called Super Bowls back then but that’s essentially what they were and they represent the best of Lions football.

  12. Don’t know of any other fan base that when the team gets inside the 35, they already KNOW they got at least 3 points.

    Hanson is the man! I hope he sticks around. How cool would it be to get him a ring?

  13. You have to feel for the guy. Hanson and the Lions remind me of Bill Murray and Groundhog Day, Every day is the same and has been for the past 22 years.

    Seems as though the Lions have drafting for the kicker position down to a science. If they can use their kicker drafting strategy though out their draft …. LOOK OUT!!

  14. He’s money for another year or two at least. The Lions would be smart to bring him back and sign/draft a punter that can handle kickoffs.

    Hanson can still it from inside 55.

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