The Lions should now be looking to pass on Michigan Panthers’ kicker Jake Bates

As his season played out, my interest in the kickmaster shriveled up like a stack of dimes. I’m curious to know what exactly happened to his leg or ankle on that last kick, though.

It was his first real gig as a kicker, so I’m not surprised that he was inconsistent.

He would probably benefit from another year in the minors. With that leg, if he can show a little more consistency, he will be playing in the NFL.


If not Detroit, I think it’s practically guaranteed, though, that he will be in someone’s training camp in a couple months.


It may be a good thing that he missed a few kicks down the stretch.

Lions may be able to get him in camp without any guarantees…
and he may be a PS or street FA this year.

Could possibly sign him to a futures contract in that case.


The more I think about it, the more I’m leaning towards Bates in camp with Detroit, barring the injury. The competition would be insane, but now that he has this injury (which looked like he slipped with his plant foot and the leg bending where it shouldn’t)… Who knows? He has more than likely put down roots here, especially after becoming an overnight sensation like he did. He has a fan base here, for sure.

The article made it sound like he was the reason they lost which is bs. He accounted for the majority of the scoring at halftime. More like the inexplicable int’s in the 3rd quarter is what did them in.

I know many took a liking to Bates and the possibility of a kicker with extreme range, but it is highly unlikely that Bates even makes an NFL team this season.
GM’s are slow to sign unproven kickers, and Bates is about as unproven as it gets.
The best kicker in the UFL, Andre Szmyt, was awarded the Lou Groza award as the best kicker in college football in 2018. He has been bouncing around trying to get an NFL job. Maybe this will be his year.
I don’t think Holmes will waste a training camp roster spot now that Bates has cooled and James Turner is killing it.
Holmes had 3 kickers in camp a couple of years ago for competition and one of the incumbents was on a “kick count” and couldn’t meet all the requirements needed for camp.
The winner of the Lion kicking job is probably going to come down to short game.
Consistency and accuracy under 50 yards and also kickoff skills.
Campbell and Fipp are facinated by the new kickoff rules and want to be able to get an advantage in that phase.
If Turner or Badgley is significantly better at the variations of drives, pooches, spins, and knucklers that could win the job.

Bates has roots in Texas.
Also, the team practices in Texas and flies in on game day to play. I don’t think Bates has any connection to Detroit more than any other visiting player.
Hopefully he heals up and gets a camp invite. There are dozens of kickers that have NFL camp experience that are waiting to get another chance.
Bates will have to get in line behind them, including UFL kicker Andre Szmyt.

Lions have requested a visit with Bates.
Bates will do the rounds of his 4 visit requests (Washington, GB, Baltimore) to see if he can get an invitation to camp.

i would think we would punt on a kicker instead of pass.