The Lions quickly moved to secure an experienced replacement for retiring placekicker Jason Hanson, agreeing to terms with ex-49er David Akers, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reported Friday evening.
The 38-year-old Akers comes off his worst season as a pro; he missed a career-high 13 field goals in 42 regular-season attempts for NFC champion San Francisco. It was a surprising form reversal for Akers; the previous season, he connected on 44-of-52 field goals and set the single-season NFL points record (166). The 49ers released Akers in March, replacing him with former Browns kicker Phil Dawson.
Akers’ overall track record is solid. He has hit at least 82 percent of his field goals in nine of the last 13 seasons — all while playing his home games outdoors for the 49ers and Eagles. By contrast, the Lions could play as many as 10-of-16 regular-season games in 2013 in climate-controlled settings — eight home contests at Detroit’s Ford Field, one game at the domed Mall of America Field in Minneapolis and another at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., which has a retractable roof.
Akers, who is entering his 16th NFL season, had 40 of his 87 kickoffs go for touchbacks in 2012.