Lions Kicker Jason Hanson Announces Retirement

Posted at 4:24 PM, Apr 04, 2013

ALLEN PARK, Mich – After 21 seasons with the Detroit Lions, kicker Jason Hanson has announced he’s retiring.  Below is a release from the Detroit Lions:

Jason Hanson, the greatest placekicker in Detroit Lions history and one of the best to ever play in the National Football League, today announced that he is retiring after 21 record-setting seasons with the Lions.

“It’s time,” Hanson said. “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.”

“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.

 “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.”

A press conference is scheduled for Tuesday, April 9th.


Hanson completed one of the most historical careers in NFL history that spanned 21 seasons, all with the Lions, and was one of the NFL’s most productive kickers. The following highlights are Hanson’s records he accomplished and accolades he earned during his career.

  • Set NFL record for the most games played by one player with one team (327), and he is the first player in NFL history to play 300 games with one franchise. With his 304th game at Chicago (11/13), he passed Hall of Fame WR Jerry Rice for fifth place on the NFL’s career games played list.
  • In the 2012 season opener vs. St. Louis (9/9), he set an NFL Record for most seasons played (21) with one team.
  • Franchise leader in games played with 327 and is the franchise’s all-time leader in seasons played with 21.

Career Scoring

  • 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).
  • Third all-time in career scoring (2,150). With his 46-yard field goal in the first quarter at Philadelphia (10/14/12), Hanson moved past K John Carney (2,062) for third place on the NFL’s all-time scoring list.
  • Third on the NFL’s all-time career field goals list with 495.
  • Only player in NFL history to score 2,000 career points with one franchise.
  • With eight points in Week 11 vs. Green Bay (11/18), Hanson reached 2,100 career points and became the third player (K Morten Andersen and K Gary Anderson) in NFL history to score 2,100 career points. In 321 career games, Hanson scored exactly 2,100 points and also became the first player in NFL history to score 2,100 career points with one team.
  • Ranks fifth all-time on NFL’s career PATs list (665). With four points in Week 8 vs. Seattle (10/28), Hanson passed K Norm Johnson (638) and K Lou Groza (641) for fifth on the all-time list for career PATs made.
  • Only missed eight extra points in his career (665-of-673) and has been perfect in PAT tries in 14 different seasons (1992-93, 1995-96 and 2000-02, 2004-06, 2009-12).

From Long Distance

  • One of the NFL’s all-time great kickers from long-distance. All-time record holder for career 50-yard field goals (52).
  • Only player in NFL history with 50 50+-yard field goals. His 52 50-yard field goals are 10 more than any other player (John Kasay and Sebastian Janikowksi; 42) in NFL history. He broke the record of 50-yard field goals in 2008 when he surpassed K Morten Andersen (40).
  • First kicker in NFL history to go 8-for-8 on 50+-yard field goals in a single season.
  • Tied NFL record with four games making two-or-more 50+yard field goals.
  • Made 188 career 40+-yard field goals, setting an NFL record for the most 40+-yard field goals in NFL history. He broke the previous record established by K Morten Andersen (187). His .674 field goal accuracy from 40+ yards (188-of-279) ranks third all-time among kickers with 200 attempts from 40+ yards.
  • In 2012, Hanson made a career-high 18 40+-yard field goals (16 from 40-49 and 2 from 50+), which is the second-most in NFL history during a season. He was one 40+-yard field goal shy of the single-season NFL record of 19 by K Neil Rackers in 2005.
  • Holds NFL record by making 24 consecutive field goals of 40+ yards.
  • Connected on two 56-yard field goals during career, which are the longest field goals made in team history.

Season Scoring Marks

  • Scored six points vs. Chicago in the 2012 season finale (1 FG, 3 PAT) and finished the season with 134 points. His 134 points set a new franchise record for points in a season, breaking his own team record of 132 points scored in 1995.
  • Reached 130 points in three different seasons (130 in 1993, 132 in 1995, 134 in 2012), becoming the seventh player in NFL history with three 130+-point seasons.

At Close Range

  • Connected on 443-of-508 (.872) career field goal attempts inside the 50-yard line and is a remarkable 305-of-320 (.953) from inside the 30-yard line.

Connect Four

  • Tallied four field goals in a game 27 times during his career and tied K Matt Stover (27) for the second-most games with 4+ field goals in NFL history.
  • Made four field goals four times in 2012, the most 4+ field goal games he has accumulated in a season during his career.


  • 19 career game-winning field goals made in the fourth quarter or overtime.
  • Tied for most overtime field goals (9) in NFL history.
  • Six career game-winning field goals made with less than 2 minutes to play.
  • 10 game-winning field goals made in the fourth quarter.

Career Accolades

  • Made Pro Bowl appearances following the 1997 and 1999 seasons (Pro Bowls: 1998, 2000) and has led the Lions in scoring in 20 seasons. He is the only player in NFL history to lead the same team in scoring for the first 18 years of their career. He now has the third-most seasons in NFL history leading his team in scoring.
  • Named to the Lions 75th Season All-Time Team in 2008.
  • Five-time winner of the Lions’ Yale Lary Special Teams Player of the Year Award (1993, ’99,’03, ’06 and ‘08).
  • 2008 Pro Football Weekly Golden Toe Award for NFL’s best kicker (place kicker or punter).

Hanson the Punter

  • Punted in five games during his 21-year career. Overall in his career, Hanson had 15 punts (534 yds) for a 35.6 average with 4 punts downed inside the 20. His net punting average was 32.5. Registered punts in games during the 1995, 1996, 1998, 2003 and 2012 seasons.
  • At Tennessee in 2012, Hanson made four field goals and recorded three punts to become the first player since 1976 (Cleveland K Don Crockroft: 4 FG, 5 punts) to record 4 field goals and 3+ punts in a game.

Kick Coverage

  • Recorded 36 career special teams tackles.


  • Active Christian speaker.
  • Helped establish Providence Youth Outreach in Pontiac, Mich., which helps at-risk youth from ages 12-22 and through his “Points For Providence” program, he donated $200 for every field goal he kicked. He also helped solicit corporate contributions and spends time mentoring youth in this program.
  • Donated Lions’ home game tickets to Eagle Ministries through the Lions CATS (Caring Athletes Ticket Service) for Kids program.
  • Participated in Habitat for Humanity Blitz Build for Super Bowl XL week, where 40 “home kits” were built and shipped to the Gulf Coast to provide housing for families displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
  • Avid golfer who served as the Honorary co-Chairman of the 2007 Detroit Lions Invitational Charity Golf Tournament. In May 2007, Hanson nailed his first-ever hole-in-one on a Par 3 178-yard hole at Indian Cannon Gold Course in Spokane, Wash.