Lions sign ex-49ers kicker David Akers to replace Jason Hanson
DETROIT (AP) -- The Detroit Lions didn't have to look long for a new kicker.
Detroit added four-time All-Pro David Akers, one day after Jason Hanson retired.
Akers' agent, Jerrold Colton, confirmed Friday that he and the Lions agreed to terms. Colton declined to give details when asked if Akers got a one-year contract.
"I'm excited about the opportunity to play for the Lions' organization," Akers told The Associated Press. "I'm not trying nor would I be able to fill the likes of Jason's shoes. He is and will always be a legend as far as I'm concerned. That being said, it will be an honor to attempt to follow in his footsteps. It will be great to be near my extended family as we strive to for a championship."
Akers' wife's family is originally from the Detroit area.
Hanson hung up his cleats Thursday, ending his 21-year, record-breaking career with the Lions.
San Francisco released Akers a month ago after he slumped during the 2012 season. The six-time Pro Bowl kicker made 73 of 94 field goals over two seasons for the 49ers">49ers. His 297 points over the past two seasons led the league.
He underwent double hernia surgery in February 2012 then aggravated the area during the season when he slipped on the field during practice. Akers told The Associated Press in March that he was feeling well after having a surgical procedure last week.
Akers has made 367 of 453 field goals in his career with Washington, Philadelphia and San Francisco.
He set NFL records in 2011 with 44 field goals made and 52 attempted. Akers also tied the league mark for the longest made when he made a 63-yard kick in the season-opening win at Green Bay last year, bouncing the ball off the crossbar and through the upright.
Akers, though, made just 29 of 44 attempts last season for his lowest percentage since 1999 when he made three of six kicks in his first season in Philadelphia. His poor performance for the 49ers included two potential game-winning kicks in separate overtime games against the St. Louis Rams, leading to a tie and a loss.
The 38-year-old Akers particularly struggled from long range, missing more than half of his attempts from 40 yards or more.
San Francisco brought in Billy Cundiff to compete against Akers before the division-round playoff and NFC championship game, but coach Jim Harbaugh stuck with Akers. He hit the left upright on his only attempt in the NFC title game and made three field goals in the Super Bowl.
After a game at New Orleans on Nov. 25, Akers returned to the doctor in Philadelphia who performed his sports hernia surgery to receive an injection. He also suspended his Twitter account because he said he received a death threat.
Akers played 12 seasons for the Eagles before signing a three-year deal with San Francisco. He had been so steady his first season that many 49ers teammates publicly questioned why the Eagles didn't re-sign him.
The Lions wanted the 42-year-old Hanson back, but he chose to end his career. 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 and is third on the career scoring list at 2,150 points and third in field goals with 495.