Lions’ Campbell explains decision to cut Badgley, gives Patterson leg up for kicking job

Detroit News

Allen Park — The first surprising cut of training camp happened two days before the Detroit Lions’ veterans reported, when the team chose to part ways with veteran kicker Michael Badgley. That move left Riley Patterson and Parker Romo to compete for a job that’s been a revolving door since Matt Prater departed in free agency ahead of the 2021 season.

It appeared the Lions had finally found some stability with Badgley, a midseason addition who converted 20 of 24 field-goal attempts last season before re-upping with the franchise as a free agent in March. But after reacquiring Patterson in a trade with Jacksonville in May, almost a year removed from losing a camp competition for Detroit’s job, the Lions felt there was some redundancy with the skill set of the two players.

“Look, it was hard to let Badgely go,” Campbell said. “That was tough. I have a lot of respect for Badge, but you know, we wanted to give another look at Patterson. We feel like they’re very similar type players, Badgely and Patterson.”

Both Patterson and Badgley are viewed as accurate kickers, particularly inside 50 yards, but lack consistency from longer distances. It’s a big part of the reason Patterson was beaten out by Austin Seibert in training camp a year earlier. Romo, the top kicker from the XFL last season, showed during the spring he offers a bigger leg, but he’s clearly starting off in the trailing position to Patterson to begin camp.

“He’s kind of the wild card,” Campbell said. “He has the big leg. There’s a level of development to him that needs to take place and so we just felt like between those two guys, let’s get a look at them and let them compete against each other. That’s why we did what we did.”

jdrogers@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers

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