Lions among several NFL teams requesting a workout with Michigan Panthers kicker Jake Bates

USA Today

Jake Bates announced his UFL presence with authority by making a 64-yard field goal in the Michigan Panthers’ season opener this spring. His booming leg placed the Panthers kicker in high demand, and the Detroit Lions are one of the teams that has requested an NFL workout with the UFL’s kicker of the year.

Bates is now available for NFL teams after the Panthers saw their playoff run end over the weekend. In Michigan’s loss to Birmingham, Bates made four of his six field goal attempts. He missed from 44 and 51 yards, with the shorter attempt blocked.

For the season, the 24-year-old Bates made 17-of-22 field goal attempts, including the booming 64-yard record-setter. That was one of three successful attempts from at least 60 yards, though he did miss four of his final six regular-season attempts between 50 and 58 yards.


The Lions are one of several teams reported to have interest in working out Bates, a list which also includes the Green Bay Packers.

Detroit brought back kicker Michael Badgley, who set the team record for the longest successful field goal in postseason history last year with a 54-yarder. Badgley made a 59-yard field goal with the Chargers back in 2018. The Lions also added undrafted rookie James Turner from Michigan, who has demonstrated a booming leg in spring practices.

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