For the past 21 seasons, the best player on the Detroit Lions has been Jason Hanson. The Lions kicker has been the most consistent performer and won many games for Detroit. Why then has the free agent not received a suitable offer from the Lions?
In 2012, Jason Hanson broke several records, including most field goals over 40 yards in a career. Hanson ranks third in NFL history in points scored in a career. These impressive stats should be enough to keep Hanson around, but it appears the team may have different plans.
After being big spenders in NFL free agency, the Lions might not have money left o sign Hanson. Jack Mills, Hanson’s agent, said, “We don’t feel like there’s any urgency and at this time we don’t have anything on the table that would be acceptable.”
In 2012, Hanson was extremely consistent despite the Lions 4-12 record. He connected on 32 of 36 field goals and made all extra point attempts. Hanson went 18-22 in field goals over 40 yards and a perfect 14-14 from lesser distance.
Over his storied NFL career, Hanson has made 98.8% of extra points. In fact, the Lions kicker has not missed a PAT since the 2008 season. In his career, Hanson has made 82.4% of his field goals. Last season, Hanson kicked above average with an 88.9% accuracy rate.
The Lions paid Hanson a base salary of $2.55 million with an additional $0.68 million bonus for the 2012 season. If the team fails to offer Hanson a new contract, they will likely turn to the 2013 NFL Draft to find a suitable replacement in the late rounds.
This will be unfamiliar grounds for the Lions, as they have not had to draft a kicker since they took Hanson in the second round of the 1992 NFL Draft (56th overall). Hanson wants to play one more year and there’s no reason he can’t compete. Your move Detroit.