Thus far, Hanson's 310 games with the Lions are the most of any player with one team All Time in the NFL. I don't mind saying that Hanson IS one of the players I do have some of my emotional baggage tied up in when it comes to the Lions. Drafted by the Lions in the 2nd round out of Washington State, Hanson has been true to the team through the best of times and the worst of times. No kicker has displayed such dedication to team and craft as Hanson has over his 20 seasons in Detroit. I really have a hard time of thinking of any other exit for Hanson than a graceful retirement, on his terms, where he gets the due that a player of his caliber deserves after dedicating over twenty years of his life to the Lions.
I have to look at the other side of things though too. Dimke isn't a bad kid, and he's a pretty decent kicker coming out of college. He thinks he can do the job, as he explains in this article For a snapshot of Dimke, here is his combine profile Dimke's biggest asset in this competition though, may be the three year UDFA contract he signed.
Hanson carries a hefty 3.25 million dollar cap number into this season, making him the tenth highest paid Lion. Dimke's price tag? $385,000. They say the NFL is a business, and anyone who says the Lions aren't reviewing Hansons contract, age, and recent injury history, in light of how cash strapped they are against the salary cap, would be lying through their teeth.
Personally, I think Hanson is relatively safe. The fly in the ointment to that would be if there is a surprise veteran cut that the team really wants to pursue. I'd like to hear your thoughts on this. Is there a possibility of this happening, or is this just my offseason imagination working OT? Thanks!