Kicker Jason Hanson and left tackle Jeff Backus, two of the longest-serving Detroit Lions, have been spotted in the Lions practice facility recently.
Possibly it signals that both are planning to return, but it’s not a certainty according to team president Tom Lewand.
Hanson, who has been the kicker for 21 seasons, is a free agent while Backus is under contract through the 2013 season.
“We keep the conversation going with Jason and we’re very respectful, but we haven’t come to any agreement about a contract going forward,’’ Lewand said on Friday.
“I’m optimistic (he’ll return) but again I’m respectful of what his thought process is, he’s been in the building. I’ve seen him a couple of times over the last few weeks,’’ Lewand said. “We’ve got a great relationship and we’ll continue that dialogue, but I don’t have anything to announce today one way or the other.’’
At the end of the season, Hanson said he wanted to clear his mind before he made a decision on whether to return for his 22nd season.
Backus, who has started every game except for one for 12 seasons, has not addressed his future.
At the end of the season, left guard Rob Sims said he was going to call Backus every day to convince him to return.
“Jeff is under contract and Jeff’s been in the building, but nothing new to report,’’ Lewand said.
He said he hasn’t heard anything that would lead him to believe that Backus won’t be back.
“I haven’t heard anything different from him. I don’t have anything to announce one way or the other again. My expectation is, that barring anything, he would tell us if he’s going to be here,’’ Lewand said.
Lewand would not say if there are other cuts planned, other than to say that putting together the roster is a fluid process.