Jason Hanson retires

AP

Jason Hanson, the longtime Lions kicker who is the NFL’s longest-serving active player and the player who has played in more games for one team than any other player in NFL history, has decided to call it a career.

The 42-year-old Hanson told DetroitLions.com that he is not 100 percent healthy and thought a foot injury was going to keep him from playing at his best.

It was time to make a decision,” Hanson said. “It was the right time to step away. “Ultimately, it’s my heel – the problem I developed last year. Now that we’re starting a new year, it’s still an issue. I have the desire. I have the determination, as I said earlier, to come back. Each time I’d start to push it, I’d kind of short-circuit. I realized that at this point of my career, I don’t want to perform in a compromised way. It’s not good for the team. I lost a little of my desire to play injured.”

Hanson owns the NFL records for most career 50-yard field goals (51) and most games played with one team (327). He’ll go down in history as one of the best kickers ever to play the game.

89 responses to “Jason Hanson retires

  1. From this Packer fan who has always admired Jason Hanson and his abilities, good luck. It was a pleasure to watch you play and see the talent that kept you in the NFL for 22 years.

  2. Classy guy. The fact that he’s been kicking for the Lions longer than a lot of fans have been alive is incredible. Good luck to future endeavors, Mr. Hanson.

  3. Probably holds the all-time record for tackles made by a kicker, as well. Detroit’s kickoff coverage teams sucked Hanson’s entire career.

  4. He should get even more love because he spent all of that time with a generally horrible team. It must be hard to have so little team success over the years.

  5. I hope Jason “Iceman” Hanson will be a mid-season call up for a contender with a slumping kicker!

  6. Hanson has always been one of the best Kickers in the league and he will go out with records that will be very hard for any other player to beat. 327 games with one team is amazing. 51/50+ yard Field Goals is also an amazing accomplishment. Its going to be a long time before anyone ever touches his records. Good Luck with retirement Jason!

  7. From a Packers fan perspective. That guy was money. He never seemed to miss. It is truly amazing as long as he played he never left a game in GB on the winning end. Enjoy retirement

  8. I’ve shared 20+ Thanksgivings with this guy. Maybe he’ll get a mid-season shot at a ring with a contender. Best of luck to you in the future.

  9. Before we all vote to enshrine him, we need to hear how many of those 50 yd fgs were made outdoors and how many fgs were game winners. With the Lions as bad as they were for all those years, I can’t imagine many of his kicks were pressure packed.

  10. Wow I’m really sad right now. He and Eddie Murray are the only two Lions kickers I can remember and I’m 36 years old. Thank you so much for everything Jason.

  11. As a Packer fan I say he’s one of the Best Ever! Good Luck in retirement. But if Mason Crosby goes batty again next year we may be calling.

  12. Class guy who deserved a better fate than all the years of losing. I hope this truly was a personal decision, and not a decision driven by the Lions trying to lowball him on his contract. If he still wants to play, perhaps the heel will heal in time for him to still take part in this season.

  13. You never saw Jason Hanson sitting on the bench during games. When he wasn’t on the field he was constantly working out on the sidelines, either licking into the net or simply rehersing his motions; even down to that little shrug just before he took his first step. Without a doubt the hardest working player in franchise history. Thanks for a great effort Jason.

  14. from a Bears fan… sorry to see you go. You were a class act and a great kicker. Good Luck in retirement.

  15. As a Lions fan, this scares me. We have so many pieces in place…and I hate to be pescimistic but I could see our team doing great and then lose a few games by a missed FG and then miss the playoffs. Hanson might be old but he was a guy you could almost always count on. With our team always having close games, I sure hope they looked at Hanson as more than just a replaceable kicker…because he is not. It would be different if he had a year like Akers just did…but he did not.

  16. And so the last NFL active player who appeared in Tecmo Super Bowl has retired. Shedding a tear for my childhood…

  17. Jason Hanson was a class act, and was money throughout his entire career. He still has a huge leg and could have hung on to kick a few more years, but obviously wants to enjoy life while he’s still young. Best of look, good sir!!

  18. Didn’t play for a lot of winners, but he still had a great career. I think Seabass will take the 50+ mark from him eventually, but man that 327 mark is crazy.

  19. Kicking off for the Lions should extend any Kicker’s career by 10 years due to lack of activity.

  20. Hopefully they take note of the successes other teams have had drafting kickers in rounds 6-7 & don’t try to sign some washed up bum (i.e. Akers)

  21. I’m pretty sure I remember Hanson on Tecmo Super Bowl on the original Nintendo! Talk about longevity.

  22. As a Bears fan, I have always respected Hanson for the talent and class he brought to the city of Detroit. It is hard to believe that he was a rookie when the Bears still had Kevin Butler. Jan Stenerud should have a fellow kicker next to him in the HOF one day.

  23. Do you realize, as bad as the Lions were all of those years, Lions fans have really only seen 2 kickers since 1980 it was either Eddie (Money) Murray or Jason Hanson?

    33 years and 2 kickers

  24. Having had the chance to meet and interact with Mr Hanson on a few occasions, I can honestly say that the Lions lost a class act. Good luck Jason and stay classy.

  25. One of the Bengals’ otherwise atrocious announcers summed it up well a few years ago (hey, they’re the local team where I live, not the team I root for)–

    “It’s nice to face this good a kicker every year in pre-season and not very often when it counts.”

    Jason, you were a great kicker and a class act. Enjoy a long, happy, healthy, prosperous retirement.

  26. One has to laugh at the childish remarks by the trash talkers above. They have no clue he made more money than all of them combined. He was humble in his playing days staying on one team and is a shoe in for the HOF. Coming from a Viking fan, I commend his loyalty staying with the Lions during good seasons and the bad ones. Best of luck on your future!

  27. HOF for sure, I’m a Vikings fan and this dude has been a killer over the years!! If he doesn’t make the HOF, just get rid of kickers, because there was nobody better over the past 15 years!

  28. One of the few bright spots the Lions have had through the years. Dependable, accurate, everything you want in a kicker. Any time a career lasts that long, you know you’re one of the elite in your job.

    As a Vikes fan, much respect to Jason Hanson. You keep the NFC North THE best divison in the NFL.

  29. .
    Mr Hanson,
    Thanks for everything you did on and off the field for the Detroit community.
    .
    As you probably know the D will always have your back.
    .

  30. I am sad he didn’t get a truly amazing winning season. But the fact is this is what is best for the Lions. They can’t afford a 2 mil cap hit on a kicker that isn’t 100% healthy and is a liability on kick offs when we have issues with special teams.

  31. He’s basically what every player should aspire to. Just go out and do your job. Do it well. Score the 3rd most points in NFL history. Classy. Doesn’t complain. Loyal to a team that might be tough to be loyal to. Congrats!

  32. 22 years and not a single playoff win. It’s not fair.

    Good luck in retirement Jason Hanson. There are many contending NFL teams that would have been lucky to have you.

  33. Young kickers waiting on old kickers to retire to land a job. Sounds like real life.

  34. Classy, durable, dependable and highly skilled. The only thing that Jason Hanson didn’t have was the luck to be drafted by a smart, focused organization that put forth a true commitment to the pursuit of excellence. The Lion’s foolish organization robbed him and their fan base of an opportunity to know the thrill of meaningful kicks, consistent playoff berths and championship drives. Jason deserved greater acclaim and more fun in his career. I’m disappointed to see him go without having the chance to contribute to some real success here in Detroit. Best of luck to you, Jason. Maybe a team with a legit SB chance will call midseason with an untimely injury and a last opportunity for glory.

  35. Great career! I wish him well. It is great to see a guy with any team for that long and know when to say when.

  36. “Without a doubt the hardest working player in franchise history”
    —-
    @Stinger – No wonder the Lions are the worst franchise on the planet. Their hardest working player is a FG kicker…lol

  37. This guy started kicking field goals for the Lions the same year Brett Favre started throwing TDs for the Packers. Talk about longevity. This Packers fan has nothing but respect for Mr. Hanson.

  38. As a Redskins fan in the Detroit TV market area I was always jealous that they have had basically 2 kickers for most of my life. Eddie Murry was a long time kicker before Hanson. I think most would be shocked if you compared the 2 kickers that Detroit has had in the last 30 years compared to every other NFL team. Hopefully Detroit continues that trend, cause the alternative isn’t much fun.

  39. My family was staying in Appleton, WI a few years ago on a snowy December Saturday night. My daughter and I wandered over to the Paper Valley Hotel to see if we could spot any Lions who were playing the Packers the next day. There was a small group of about 10-15 Lions faithful with cards and programs and such to sign and a few Lions stopped to sign a few things before heading out to the “action” on College Ave. Jason Hanson stayed longer, signed more and was friendlier than anyone else. My daughter asked if he was really a football player. I said yep- he just doesn’t act like one. Great guy.

  40. i had the good fortune to watch morten anderson’s career with the saints and always thought jason hanson was the only other kicker who was on the same level as morty. au revoir good man.

  41. The one position for 22yrs we NEVER had to draft or worry about and we took for grant that you would always be there when the team turn the corner……..Good Luck JH in your retirement we’ll miss you G.O.A.T. kicker….smile.

    Go LIONS!!!!!…an get a kicker!

  42. One of the best ever. Too bad he never had a chance with a real good team. Best of luck to him in his retirement.

  43. @justintuckrule he made 19 game winners in his career. if you use his fgm%, that would say he probably had approx 20-21 attempts. Not bad not bad.

    @jaggedmark 36 career special teams tackles. That’s heart man!

    Thanks Jason!

  44. As a Packers fan I hated seeing Hanson out their kicking because the guy was a great kicker. That said, I have a lot of respect for Hanson and wish him well in his retirement.

  45. lionsdraftguy says:Apr 4, 2013 6:03 PM

    Jim Harbaugh needs a lesson of class from this guy.

    – Jim Schwartz needs one too

  46. As a lifelong Vikings fan, I have nothing but respect and admiration for Jason Hanson. Hanson is a a class act that will be sorely missed in the NFC North and the entire NFL. It takes a special kind of guy to stick it out through so many tough years in Detroit. It must kill him to retire just as they seem to have a good chance at being competitive. My hat is off to you sir, enjoy your retirement…..it was well earned. I truly hope to see you in Canton, but I’m not going to hold my breath.

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