While it seemed that Jason Hanson coming back to the Lions was a lay-up, there’s apparently no sure thing when it’s time to talk contract.
The long-time kicker announced he wants to play again, and said he’d only play for the Lions. But they haven’t been able to agree to terms (with no “acceptable” offer, according to his agent) so the Lions are looking for options.
According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, the Lions are bringing veteran kicker David Akers for a visit next week.
“It’s not a system that provides for a lot of allowance for sentimentality,” team president Tom Lewand said last week. “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.”
Hanson has kicked for the Lions for 21 seasons. Akers struggled last year with a hip injury, which may have contributed to a career-worst season. Either way, the 49ers finally cut him after bringing in competition during the playoff bye week.
Of course, announcing the visit now for a trip next week gives Hanson time to decide whether he’s serious about his only-in-Detroit stance, and might spur the negotiations.