Lions to re-sign kicker Michael Badgley

Yardbarker

Winning a prolonged practice competition last season, Michael Badgley reclaimed his job after the Lions had previously traded for Riley Patterson. Closing the season as Detroit’s kicker again, Badgley is poised to enter the team’s offseason program in the role.

The Lions are keeping Badgley, according to his agency (via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport), by agreeing to a one-year deal Thursday. Badgley, 28, kicked in seven games — counting three playoff tilts — for the NFC North champions last season. This continues an on-again, off-again partnership.

Detroit had brought Badgley back on a practice squad agreement last year, continuing a busy run of transactions for the kicker. The Lions had cut Badgley just before training camp, leading him to the Commanders. Badgley did not stick as Washington’s kicker, being released last summer, and spent a few days in Tennessee. But the Lions circled back to their primary 2022 kicker, stashing him on their P-squad in August. That pickup eventually led to Detroit giving him the kicking reins back late in the season.

A kicker chain reaction produced the Badgley-Patterson practice competition. The Broncos released longtime kicker Brandon McManus last year, leading to the Jaguars picking him up. That led them to dangle Patterson in deals. After speaking with the Cowboys, the Jags ultimately dealt Patterson to the Lions. That prompted Detroit to release Badgley, despite having re-signed him in March 2023. Despite Patterson making more than 85% of his kicks during the regular season, the Lions booted him and rolled with Badgley for the stretch run.

Badgley made each of his four regular-season field goal tries last year, missing two extra points. He was 3-for-3 in the playoffs, though the sequences in which Dan Campbell left his kicker on the sideline proved more memorable than those makes. Campbell eschewed two second-half Badgley tries inside of 50 yards to go for fourth-and-shorts; both plays failed in a 34-31 loss to the 49ers.

In 2022, Badgley was 33-for-33 on PATs and 20 of 24 on field goals with the Lions. The team had signed Badgley in October 2022, scooping him up after the Bears cut him. Badgley replaced
Dominik Eberle that year. Overall, Badgley has played six NFL seasons. 

While he enjoyed steady Chargers employment for three years, the past three have brought in-season transactions. Since leaving Los Angeles in 2021, Badgley has kicked for the Colts, Titans, Bears and Lions. He will make an attempt at a more stable 2024.

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