Lions Request to Host Jake Bates

Could Lions sign popular UFL kicker?
Aug 10, 2023; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; Houston Texans place kicker Jake Bates (49) kicks an extra point against the New England Patriots during the second half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 10, 2023; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; Houston Texans place kicker Jake Bates (49) kicks an extra point against the New England Patriots during the second half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports / Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports
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The Detroit Lions have officially entered the Jake Bates sweepstakes. 

Detroit is one of four teams to reportedly submitted a request to host the popular UFL kicker, according to reports Tuesday. Other teams requesting a visit from Bates include the Washington Commanders, Green Bay Packers and Baltimore Ravens. 

The Lions reportedly conducted the meeting with Bates Tuesday. The former NFL kicker did not work out, but was present at the team's Allen Park facility on the final day of OTAs open to the media.

Bates kicked this spring for the Michigan Panthers, who played their home games at Detroit’s Ford Field. He became popular amongst Lions fans after hitting a series of long field goals. Among those was a walk-off 64-yard boot early in the season. 

He cooled off toward the end of the season, including two misses late in the team’s playoff loss. One of those misses was blocked. He finished the year 20-of-27 on field goal attempts. 

The popular UFL standout also hit a 70-yard kick during practice that went viral, as Lions fans have often desired a kicker who can be consistent from long range. 

The kicker spent time with the Houston Texans during training camp last season, but he ultimately failed to crack the final roster. Bates played collegiately at Texas State and Arkansas. 

Currently, the Lions have two kickers on roster in Michael Badgley and James Turner. The two have competed throughout the offseason workouts. The undrafted Turner has proven to be solid competition for the veteran Badgley, and had a solid week at mandatory minicamp. 

The Lions have struggled to find stability at kicker since Matt Prater departed, as several players have held the role. Riley Patterson began the 2023 campaign as the kicker, but was ultimately replaced by Badgley later in the year. 

Detroit is currently in its final week of offseason organized team activities before taking a break that will lead into training camp. 


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Christian Booher

CHRISTIAN BOOHER

Sports journalist who has covered the Detroit Lions the past three NFL seasons. Christian brings expert analysis, insights and an ability to fairly assess how the team is performing in a tough NFC North division.