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.