Lions kicker Hanson retires after 21 seasons

After 21 remarkable seasons with the Detroit Lions, kicker Jason Hanson has decided to call it a career.

Hanson walks away from a career that made him one of the greatest kickers in NFL history and an icon in franchise history.

The 42-year-old made 32-of-36 field goal attempts last season. However, a heel injury that surfaced last season and continued to bother him this offseason was a big part of his decision to call it quits.

"It was time to make a decision," Hanson told the team's website. "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."

Hanson, a second-round pick in 1992, played in 327 games with the Lions, which is the most by any player with one team. The Washington State product is the NFL-record holder with 52 field goals of 50-plus yards and is third all-time with 2,150 points and 495 field goals.

The Lions and Hanson were unable to reach an agreement on a contract for the 2013 season.

"I would have worked out a contract with the Detroit Lions," Hanson said. "There was talk, and at the start, with their initial offer, it gave me some time to evaluate -- 'OK, am I going to do this?' Ultimately, no.

"It would not have been an issue. There are no hard feelings. It never got to a point where there was serious back and forth with numbers. It didn't matter."