Reports: Lions to sign UFL kicker Jake Bates

The Detroit Lions are planning to sign UFL kicker Jake Bates to a two-year-deal, multiple outlets reported Saturday.

Bates can be signed as early as Tuesday, based on UFL rules.

He spent the spring with the Michigan Panthers and made 21 of 28 field goals, including a 64-yard attempt and two others of at least 60 yards. He also made visits to the Washington Commanders and Green Bay Packers but chose to say in Detroit, where he kicked at Ford Field for the Panthers.

The Lions currently have veteran Michael Badgley and James Turner, and undrafted rookie who played at Michigan, vying for the job at kicker.

Badgley, who turns 29 next month, spent parts of the past two seasons with the Lions, his fifth team. In 16 regular-season games with Detroit, Badgley has made 24 of 28 field goal attempts with a long of 53.

The Lions are expected to keep at least one kicker on the practice squad.

Bates, 25, played his senior season in 2022 at Arkansas, where he was a kickoff specialist and didn’t attempt field goals. He was named to All-SEC first-team after leading the conference with an average of 64.47 yards per kickoff.