UFL kicker Jakes Bates, who visited Packers, to sign with Lions

ufl kicker jakes bates, who visited packers, to sign with lions

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - APRIL 14: Jake Bates #38 of the Michigan Panthers kicks a field goal against the Houston Roughnecks during the second quarter in the game at Ford Field on April 14, 2024 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images for UFL)

The Green Bay Packers were among the teams to host All-UFL kicker Jakes Bates on a visit, but the former Michigan Panther will stay in state and sign with the Detroit Lions, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Per Schefter, the deal is for two years, suggesting the Lions think Bates -- who connected on 17 of 22 field goals during his first season in the UFL -- could be a long-term answer at kicker for the Packers' division rival.

The Packers are currently rostering three kickers: 2023 draft pick Anders Carlson, veteran Greg Joseph and young challenger Jack Podlesny.

In Detroit, Bates will get a chance to compete with veteran Michael Badgley and rookie James Turner for the kicker job.

The Michigan Panthers are based in Detroit and played home games at Ford Field.

Bates, 25, connected on field goals over 60 yards in back-to-back games to open the 2024 season, including a league record 64-yarder at Ford Field in the season opener. He had a field goal of at least 50 yards in six games and a field goal of at least 60 yards in three games this season.

During the postseason, he made 4-of-6 field goals (one blocked) in Michigan's loss to the eventual champion Birmingham Stallions. His final tally on field goals was 21 of 26.

Bates was named the All-UFL kicker in the league's inaugural season. He finished second in field goals made and second in total scoring.

Bates, a former kickoff specialist, also visited with the Washington Commanders.

This article originally appeared on Packers Wire: UFL kicker Jakes Bates, who visited Packers, to sign with Lions

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