The Detroit Lions appear ready to move on from NFL veteran kicker Jason Hanson. The Lions have even brought in veteran kicker David Akers to tryout as Hanson’s replacement.
I wrote last week about the Lions need for bringing Hanson back. Hanson has been a huge bright spot for a constant disappointing Lions team. Hanson has also been a fan favorite thanks to his extreme field goal accuracy.
Lions management continues to play hardball with Hanson. The latest reports are that the team offered Hanson the league minimum salary to come back for the 2013 season. Hanson and the team seem far apart, which has now prompted Detroit to contact Akers. Bringing in Akers may be a tactic to get Hanson to cave on salary, or may prove to be a smart backup plan for the team.
The San Francisco 49ers cut Akers after a disappointing 2012 season. Akers was close to being cut by the 49ers prior to the 2013 NFL Playoffs. In the 2012 season, Akers struggled with leg injuries and had one of his worst career years. Akers made only 29 of his 42 field goal attempts.
The 2012 season was nor a normal one for Akers. During a 15 year career, Akers is a lifetime 81% field goal kicker. Akers did show off his distance in the 2012 season with an NFL record tying 63 yard kick. In 2011, Akers made the Pro Bowl after hitting 44 of 52 field goal attempts.
If Hanson does not come back, signing Akers would prove to be the right move. The Lions are not that far from returning to the NFL Playoffs. The team needs consistency in special teams and would be fortunate to have a kicker like Akers to replace Hanson.
Chris Katje is a Detroit Lions writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter.