Jason Hanson, the Detroit Lions kicker for 21 seasons, has announced today that he will retire.
"It's time," Hanson said in a statement. “I gave serious thought and consideration to playing in 2013. While the determination and willpower are still there, the wear and tear on my body, especially the issues I had and still have with my heel have convinced me that it’s time to retire.
“I have put a lot of prayer into this decision, and I believe it is the right one."
The Lions will hold a farewell press conference on Tuesday.
"While I look forward to my press conference next Tuesday where I can publicly thank so many people who have played such a big part in my career, I do want to offer my sincere appreciation to the Ford Family, all my coaches and teammates, the Lions organization and the incredible Lions fans. You all helped me along this journey and I am forever grateful," Hanson said.
Hanson has been the ultimate professional in his 21 seasons with the Lions.
He ranks first in every statistical category for a place kicker in Lions’ history with longest field goal (56), field goals made (495), field goals attempted (601), points scored (2,150), extra points made (665) and extra points attempted (673).
“Jason Hanson is the gold standard,” Lions president Tom Lewand said. “He had an exemplary, Hall-of-Fame worthy career on the field, and for those of us fortunate to know him well, he is an even better person, teammate, friend, husband and father.
“Our organization has been blessed to have Jason for 21 years,’’ Lewand added.
Hanson said in February that he didn’t want to be a player who fades away.
He showed no signs of faltering last season when he connected on 32 of 36 field goal attempts for 88.9 percent rate which is higher than his career percentage of 82.4.
A 44-yard field goal in the season’s final game was his 188th at 40-plus yards which set an NFL record for most 40-plus field goals in NFL history. He also holds the record for most 50-plus yard field goals at 52.
His 134 points in 2012 set a new franchise record, breaking his own record of 132 points scored in 1995.