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Lions sign kicker David Akers to replace Jason Hanson

9:06 PM, Apr 5, 2013   |    comments
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DETROIT, Mich. (Detroit Free Press) - One day after Jason Hanson retired after 21 NFL seasons, the Lions found his replacement, agreeing to terms with six-time Pro Bowler David Akers.

Akers, four years Hanson's junior, is coming off a down year in which he battled a hip injury most of the season and missed 13 of 42 field-goal attempts.

Hanson retires from Lions

When healthy at the beginning of last year, he tied an NFL record with a 63-yard field goal in a season-opening win over the Green Bay Packers.

Akers, who was released by the San Francisco 49ers last month, visited the Lions on Tuesday.

Hanson said earlier this off-season he wanted to play at least one more year in Detroit, but the unrestricted free agent couldn't come to a contract agreement with the Lions, prompting his retirement. The 42-year-old had been slow to recover from a heel injury he suffered last season.

The Lions have had the most stable kicking position in the NFL the last three decades, using two primary kickers for more than 30 years.

Eddie Murray handled the kicking duties for 12 seasons, from 1980-91, before Hanson replaced him as a second-round pick in 1992.

Before signing Akers, the Lions worked out kickers Justin Medlock and Havard Rugland in recent weeks.

Briefly: The Lions hosted former Michigan State tight end Dion Sims on a pre-draft visit Friday. Another former Spartan, defensive end Will Gholston, will visit the Lions next week. Oregon defensive end Dion Jordan, a candidate to go No. 5 overall, is scheduled to visit the week of April 15.


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