Every day we’ll take a look at one of the Detroit Lions heading for free agency, what he has meant to the team, and a prognosis on whether or not he’ll be back with the club in 2014.
To view the entire series to date, click this link.
Free agent to be: David Akers
Years in the league: 16
What he made last season: $620,000 (cap value); $1,005,000 (cash value); $940,000 (base salary); $65,000 (signing bonus)
What he did last season: Akers had a tough 2013 season. His job was in jeopardy at one point during the second half of the season when the Lions brought in kickers for two straight days of tryouts. Akers made 19 of 24 field goals this season and at 79.2 percent had one of the worst conversion rates in the NFL. He also missed an extra point. He has played in 204 games in his career, making 354 of 436 field goals in the regular season and 38 of 44 field goals in the playoffs.
His potential market value: It depends. Akers will turn 40 during the final month of the 2014 season and had accuracy issues the past two seasons. After being a consistent 80-plus percent kicker throughout most of his career, he was under 80 percent the past two seasons. If he wants it, he’ll likely get a shot in a camp, but it wouldn’t be for more than the veteran minimum at this point.
Will he fit the Lions still: No chance. Lions general manager Martin Mayhew said during the NFL combine that Akers won’t be brought back for the 2014 season, and he shouldn’t be. The team signed two kickers to reserve/futures contracts – John Potter and Giorgio Tavecchio – and the team will likely go with either one of them or a rookie or younger free agent. They need a kicker with power, too. Akers had too many people clamoring for Jason Hanson, the longtime Lions player who retired prior to last season, to return.
What happens: It would be surprising if Akers kicked in the NFL this season, although that could end up being on his own volition, too. He was working on a book during last year and became an ordained minister. If he does play, though, it won’t be for Detroit.