The kicking shoe is on the other foot in Jason Hanson's desire to continue his career by playing his 22nd season with the Lions.

Hanson, who said at the end of last season that he would take his time to decide whether to continue playing after 21 seasons, has made up his mind to return as the Lions' kicker in 2013.

Hanson told USA Today that he wants to continue playing in Detroit. He was eligible to become an unrestricted free agent at 4 p.m. on Tuesday.

"If I can't do it here (with the Lions), I can't do it anywhere," Hanson was quoted as saying.

However, Hanson's return to the Lions does not appear to be automatic. There have been strong indications that the Lions want him back, but they also want a kicker with a stronger leg who can boom a high percentage of kickoffs out of the end zone to cut back on returns. A punter who can handle kickoffs would make Hanson's return more certain.

And Hanson's agent, Jack Mills, said Tuesday that although Hanson's prefers to play for the Lions, contract negotiations will play a role.

Mills is a long-time player agent whose dealings with the Lions date to 1970, when he represented Heisman Trophy winner and first-round draft pick Steve Owens. Mills has never been known to posture publicly in contract negotiations.