Jason Hanson hasn't decided on his football future yet

Posted Dec 28, 2012

Longtime Detroit Lions kicker Jason Hanson says he will take some time away from the game before making the decision of whether or not to return to football in 2013.

'Dr. Hanson' kind of has a nice ring to it. It might have been the career path for longtime Detroit Lions kicker Jason Hanson if this whole kicking thing hadn't worked out so well.

Hanson was holding serve with media members at his locker Friday answering all too familiar end-of-the-season questions about his future.

Hanson joked that his degree in zoology was a precursor to med school, but he never got that far. He said he's way too late in his life now to pursue that avenue any longer, though.

Instead, Hanson is left to decide what the future of his football career will bring, but said he isn't jumping to any conclusions just yet.

That's probably smart, too, because the 42-year-old stalwart told reporters that a disappointing season like the one currently marring the Lions can be "draining" and it gets to a point where you just want to finish. He said you never want to make any decisions during a season like this.

Hanson, who's an unrestricted free agent following the season, said he's going to take some time away after the season and then decide on his future playing career.

"My plan is just to approach the offseason the same as I always have, which is taking time off and then when I start back up, it's just like staying in shape stuff anyways, which I'll probably do no matter what," he said.

"If (the Lions) are done with me, then it's done. I don't have a decision. If they're like, 'we'd like you to come back,' then I'll have a decision to make and so we'll talk about that later."

Hanson is playing out the final year of a four-year, $7.9 million contract he signed in 2009. He made $2.55 million in the final year of the deal this season.

Depending on how some other free agent decisions go and where the team stands next to a salary cap that's expected to be flat at around $120 million next year, the Lions might not be in a position to offer Hanson what he made this season.

He said he wouldn't be opposed to playing on a one-year deal or potentially for less money next season.

"I'm not afraid of that either at my age," said Hanson, who's made 31-of-35 field goal attempts this season and all 35 extra point attempts.

"I don't know what they're thinking. It could easily be that. Those are the details that I'm not worried about that aren't going to be a factor for me."

Hanson is the team's all-time leader in points (2,144), field goals (494) and extra points (662). The 21-year veteran is the only player in league history with 50 50-plus yard field goals and is only the third players in history to reach 2,100 career points.

He joked with reporters that he's never really thought about retirement in any of his previous offseasons because he has no skills other than kicking a football.

"I have no skills other than this, so I better come back and stop whining," he said with a laugh. "No, I went though what everybody does where you come out of season and you're just mentally beat up and I've said this before too, there's no wind in your sails. You just come back each year ready to go."