Aging Kicker's Job Is Safe

Although Jason Hanson will be 34 years old before the start of the 2004 NFL season, the Lions will not be shopping for a replacement placekicker in free agency or the draft.

Team president Matt Millen believes Hanson has at least two or three more seasons in him. And, after Hanson's performance in 2003, it's hard to argue with Millen's theory.

In fact, the argument might be made that Hanson had his best season -- despite getting limited opportunities with the Lions' tepid offense -- in 2003.

Hanson missed only one of 23 field goal attempts all season. His only miss was a 43-yarder in the Nov. 23 game at Minnesota.

He was 4-for-4 on field goal attempts from 50 yards or more and his 10 touchbacks on kickoffs placed the Lions sixth among the 32 NFL teams.

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