The Detroit Lions are waiting to hear if Jason Hanson will come back for another season as placekicker at the age of 43.
It could be that after 21 seasons, Hanson’s had enough of kicking for a football team that probably won’t make the NFL Super Bowl in his lifetime, or anyone’s lifetime, for that matter.
But even though Hanson is one of the most reliable placekickers in the league, it might be a blessing for the Lions if he decides to retire.
Considering the fact that Hanson is the team’s all-time leader in points (2,144), field goals (494) and extra points (662) and he remains a reliable field goal kicker, it would seem odd to make that statement. He was 31-of-35 in field goal tries and made every PAT this season. That’s tough to beat.
The Lions might be able to keep Hanson only if he agrees to a salary cut, depending on where they fit financially with salary cap factors.
But at age 43 next season, that would like be Hanson’s last. Perhaps it’s time to look for his successor now unless the team can’t find a reliable one.
True, placekickers aren’t a dime a dozen. But neither does a team build itself around a placekicker. Hanson is likely not to be around much longer and the Lions have had a past history of placekickers who hang around a long time. That’s not a bad situation to be in but perhaps the time to look for Hanson’s successor is now, especially if a good one becomes available.
Placekickers can last a long time but they never last forever.