Jason Hanson has retired from the NFL after 21 sure-fire Hall of Fame seasons with the Detroit Lions, Adam Schefter reported just a short while ago.
After 21 seasons, former Lions K Jason Hanson announced his retirement.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 4, 2013
Hanson was of course an all-time favorite and record setting kicker at Washington State University before being selected in the 2nd round (#56 overall) of the NFL Draft in 1992. If not for Barry Sanders, he would easily be the best draft pick of all time by Detroit. Hanson walked on to WSU after graduating Mead High in Spokane and was named to the Sporting News Freshman All America team in 1988. He holds many Pac-12 and Washington State kicking records to this day.
- field goal % from 50 yards or more (57.1)
- Field goals from 50+ yards (20)
- Field goals from 40+ yards (39)
Washington State Records
- Pts scored (328)
- Longest field goal (62 yards)
- Most games with multiple field goals (20)
- Field Goals (63)
- PAT’s (139)
The class of Hanson was displayed in his statement to the team website, explaining he didn’t want to hurt his football team by not performing at 100% efficiency:
“It was time to make a decision. It was the right time to step away. Ultimately, it’s my heel — the problem I developed last year. Now that we’re starting a new year, it’s still an issue. I have the desire. I have the determination, as I said earlier, to come back.
“Each time I’d start to push it, I’d kind of short-circuit. I realized that at this point of my career, I don’t want to perform in a compromised way. It’s not good for the team. I lost a little of my desire to play injured.”
Hall of Famer Deion Sanders likes to say “21 reasons” for guys that make big plays wearing his legendary #21, but in this case it’s more like “21 seasons,” because Hanson was a single-handed play maker week in and week out during his career. NFL.com’s Kareem Copeland put some numbers into perspective:
The two-time Pro Bowl selection finished No. 3 in NFL history in scoring with 2,150 points. There hadn’t been any decline in his game, as Hanson finished 2012 with an 88.9 field goal percentage. He ranks No. 3 in league history with 495 field goals, and his 327 games played with the Lions are the most by any player with one team.