Jason Hanson wanted to keep on kicking. His body told him to stop.
The Detroit Lions kicker is retiring after 21 seasons, announcing his decision Thursday. The 42-year-old Hanson thought about returning, but problems with his heel prompted him to call it a career.
“It’s time,” said the former Washington State standout from Spokane. “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.”
Hanson became the first player to play 300 games with one franchise, finishing with 327. He also set an NFL record last year when he played his 21st season with the same team.
Hanson made a record 52 field goals from at least 50 yards. He’s third on the career scoring list at 2,150 points and third in field goals with 495. Hanson is the only player with 2,000 points for one franchise.
“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.”
Hanson joined such players as Jerry Rice, George Blanda, Morten Andersen, Gary Anderson and Vinny Testaverde with 21 pro seasons.
Pittsburgh Steelers nose tackle Alameda Ta’amu was sentenced to 18 months of probation after pleading guilty to reckless endangerment, resisting arrest and drunken driving stemming from a series of crashes and a police chase. The Steelers released the 22-year-old draft pick from Washington a few weeks after he was arrested Oct. 14 but later re-signed him to the practice squad.
The NFL found no “specific violations” in questions teams asked college players at February’s scouting combine. Colorado tight end Nick Kasa and other players said they were asked about their sexual orientation, but did not identify by which teams or what questions they asked. The NFL’s investigation found no such improper questioning.
The NFL has ordered all teams to have cameras in their locker rooms next season, with video shown only on stadium scoreboards. It’s part of commissioner Roger Goodell’s initiative for “enhancing the fan experience in our stadiums.”
The Baltimore Ravens terminated the contract of reserve linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, a three-time Pro Bowler on special teams. Ayanbadejo, 36, has been an open proponent for gay marriage.
The Atlanta Falcons released starting tackle Tyson Clabo, saving about $4.5 million in salary.
The New York Giants signed defensive tackle Mike Patterson, who spent the previous eight seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Kansas City Chiefs added depth at linebacker by signing Frank Zombo, who had spent the past three seasons with the Green Bay Packers.
The Arizona Cardinals signed cornerback Bryan McCann and safety Curtis Taylor to one-year contracts.