After 12-plus highly successful NFL seasons, former Seahawks kicker Stephen Hauschka has decided to hang up his cleats.
On his personal Instagram account, Hauschka split the uprights with a lengthy retirement announcement, reflecting on his impressive journey transitioning from soccer player to NFL place kicker and thanking coaches, teammates, sports psychologists, fans, and a host of others for their impact on his career.
Originally breaking into the league as an undrafted free agent out of North Carolina State in 2008, Hauschka spent time with the Vikings, Ravens, Falcons, Lions, and Broncos during his first three NFL seasons. After being waived during final roster cuts by Denver before the 2011 season, he finally found a long-term home in Seattle.
Over the next six seasons, Hauschka would eclipse Norm Johnson in the Seahawks record books with 175 field goals while posting an 88.8 percent field goal rate, the highest among any kicker in franchise history with more than 50 attempts. He proved to be the most reliable long-range kicker Seattle has ever had, connecting on a team-record 15 field goals of 50-plus yards on 22 attempts. In addition, he finished with 234 extra points made, second behind only Johnson.
Known affectionally as "Hausch Money" by 12s, Hauschka played at his best in the postseason, coming through time and time again during clutch moments. In 13 career playoff games, he made 24 out of 25 field goal attempts, including going a perfect 10-for-10 during the Seahawks back-to-back Super Bowl runs in 2013 and 2014. He also nailed a game winner to beat the Vikings during the "Ice Bowl" in the 2015 Wild Card round.
Unwilling to meet his contract demands after the 2016 season, Seattle let Hauschka walk in free agency and he played three seasons in Buffalo, where he connected on 73 out of 89 field goal attempts for an 82 percent conversion rate. Most recently, he appeared in a single game earlier this year for Jacksonville, missing both of his field goal attempts before being cut by the team.
Overall, Hauschka will walk away from the game tied 41st in NFL history for field goals (264) made, 16th for career field goal percentage (85.1 percent), and 47th for points scored (1,149).