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Kicker Dave Rayner Wants to Stay With the Lions

While Dave Rayner is a free agent, he says that he wants to remain as a member of the Lions once the 2011 season starts.

Dave Rayner likely will be an unrestricted free agent when the NFL lockout is lifted, and while he wants to re-sign with the Lions and the Lions hope to bring him to training camp, there’s no guarantee he’ll have a job if he does. Dependable Jason Hanson has two years left on his contract, and while he missed half of last season with a knee injury Hanson is back kicking and has 19 years of history on his side.

What will Rayner do if he’s forced to choose between staying home and competing with Hanson or signing elsewhere, perhaps as some team’s No. 1 option?

“I haven’t” thought about it, said Rayner, who played at MSU and is an Oxford native. “I think what I did last year definitely will help me, whether I’m here or not. I don’t think I’m going to have a hard time finding a job, I would say. Not being arrogant about it, but saying that I did enough last year and I played in the league enough that I would love to be here, but at the same time I think I’m in the shape right now where I could go win a job wherever something calls.”

After making 13 of 16 field goals in eight games with the Lions, Rayner has approached the off-season as if he’ll be in Detroit this fall. He took part in both sessions of player-organized workouts at Birmingham Detroit Country Day and kicks regularly with long snapper Don Muhlbach and punter/holder Nick Harris at Royal Oak High. “I would love to be here, obviously,” Rayner said.

“I’m going to have a little to do with it, but a lot of it’s more Jason and management, stuff like that. I can’t think about that. I’m just going to go in and do what I can do.”

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