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Jason Hanson unsure if he'll return to Detroit Lions, NFL

  • By Kevin Patra NFL.com
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The NFL's oldest player might call it quits after the season ends.

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Jason Hanson, the Detroit Lions' 42-year-old kicker, said Wednesday he's not sure if he'll return for what would be his 22nd NFL season.

"I know I can (play)," Hanson said, via the Detroit Free Press. "Like I said, I haven't really processed all that. Just get some of the nagging little kicker owies, toenail hurts, that kind of thing, let that calm down and then just really evaluate because I know I don't want to play anymore unless I know I want to play and feel like I'm going to show up for offseason and run and do all the stuff."

Hanson said he doesn't want to play anywhere other than Detroit, where he has been a stalwart since being drafted in the second round out of Washington State in 1992.

Hanson literally has spent half his life kicking for the Detroit Lions.

Let me repeat that: Hanson literally has spent half his life kicking -- for the Detroit Lions.

If he returns, Hanson, who holds the NFL record for career games and seasons with one team, will have been with Detroit longer than some of the incoming rookies have been alive: This season's youngest NFL player, Denver Broncos running back Ronnie Hillman, turned 21 after the season started.

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Hanson holds the NFL career record for most field goals of 50-plus yards (52) and consecutive field goals made from 40 yards or more (24), is tied for most career game-winning field goals in overtime (9) and tied for third in all-time field goals made (494). His play hasn't dissipated this season. He is tied for fourth with 31 field goals, is perfect inside of 40 yards, and even his four misses have been close -- all but one hitting the goal post.

If Hanson played on the Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers or any other team that was halfway decent the past two decades, we'd be debating if he belongs in the Hall of Fame.

Alas, when your kicker is your most consistent player for more than a decade, it's not a good sign.

Follow Kevin Patra on Twitter @kpatra.

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