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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.
"It was time to make a decision. It was the right time to step away," Hanson told the team's website. "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."
"It would not have been an issue," Hanson said. "There are no hard feelings. It never got to a point where there was serious back and forth with numbers. It didn't matter."