Hanson Retires After 21 Seasons In The NFL - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Hanson Retires After 21 Seasons In The NFL

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Former Cougar kicker Jason Hanson retired on Thursday after 21 seasons in the NFL. (Photo courtesy AP) Former Cougar kicker Jason Hanson retired on Thursday after 21 seasons in the NFL. (Photo courtesy AP)

Detroit Lions kicker Jason Hanson is calling it quits after 21 successful seasons.

The Spokane native and Washington State graduate made the surprising announcement on Thursday, sighting a heel injury as the main reason he decided to step aside.

"Ultimately, it's my heel -- the problem I developed last year," Hanson told the Lions' official website. "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."

Hanson was the first player to play 300 games with one franchising and set an NFL record when he played his 21st season with the same team.

Hanson is third on the all-time scoring list with 2,150 points, third in field goals with 495 and holds the record for field goals from 50-plus yards, with 52.

The Mead High School alum set numerous records while with Washington State before being drafted in the second round by the Lions in the 1992 NFL Draft.

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