(NEW YORK) — For the first time since 1994, the Detroit Lions will have a new kicker. The team has signed veteran kicker David Akers to a free agent contract.
Last week, kicker Jason Hanson retired from the team after playing for the Lions since 1994. After a poor 2012 season, Akers is hoping to revive his career in Detroit.
Back in February 2012, Akers underwent double hernia surgery, but aggravated the injury during the season. As a result, Akers had arguably the worst season of his 13-year career.
In 2012, Akers set a career-low in field goal percentage since becoming a full-time kicker. Akers went 29-42 for a 69.0 accuracy percentage. While he did go 3-4 in the playoffs, the team felt like they needed to go in a new direction.
But when it comes to kickers, their fortunes can change season to season. Akers is a prime example of that. In 2011, Akers was arguably the best kicker in the NFL in his first season with the 49ers. That season, he led the NFL in scoring.
Hanson is the first player in NFL history to play more than 300 games with a single team.
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Madison Park, Keith Allen and Andreas Preuss, CNN