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Detroit Lions waive kicker after signing Jake Bates to 2-year deal

The Detroit Lions have two kickers on their current roster

The Detroit Lions have officially signed kicker Jake Bates to a two-year contract, cementing his place on the roster and shaking up the special teams unit. In a corresponding move, the team announced the release of former University of Michigan kicker James Turner, streamlining their options at the kicker position.

Bates’ Signing Becomes Official

Jake Bates, known for his impressive long-distance kicking ability, notably a 64-yard field goal, has officially joined the Lions. The Lions inked Bates to a two-year deal worth $1.98 million, which includes a $100,000 signing bonus and $150,000 in total guaranteed money. This move signals the Lions’ confidence in Bates’ abilities and his potential to become a key player in their special teams lineup.

Bates, who previously played for the Michigan Panthers in the United Football League (UFL), demonstrated his prowess with several field goals over 60 yards. His standout performance in the UFL made him a top target for multiple NFL teams, including the Green Bay Packers and Washington Commanders, before he ultimately signed with the Lions.

Detroit Lions Biggest Trade Jake Bates

James Turner Released

To make room for Bates, the Lions released James Turner, who had a distinguished college career with the University of Michigan. Turner joined the Lions with high hopes but now finds himself seeking a new opportunity to showcase his kicking talents.

Turner was known for his accuracy and consistency during his time with the Wolverines, but his tenure with the Lions was short-lived. His departure leaves Jake Bates and veteran kicker Michael Badgley to compete for the starting kicker position as the team heads into training camp.

The Kicking Competition

The Lions’ decision to sign Bates and release Turner indicates a clear strategy heading into the season. Michael Badgley, who had a solid performance last year, but lacked long-distance power, will now face competition from Bates, whose powerful leg and accuracy make him a formidable contender.

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Looking Ahead

As the Lions prepare for training camp, the competition between Bates and Badgley will be one of the key storylines to watch. Bates’ signing and Turner’s release mark a pivotal moment in the team’s effort to strengthen their special teams unit.

The Lions’ front office is confident that the addition of Bates will elevate their kicking game, providing reliability and strength for the upcoming season. With both Bates and Badgley vying for the starting position, the team is poised for an exciting and competitive preseason.

As Bates settles into his new role, Lions fans will be eager to see if he can translate his UFL success into the NFL and become a staple in Detroit’s lineup.

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Written by W.G. Brady

W.G. Brady is a Detroit-based journalist who has been covering the Detroit sports scene for Detroit Sports Nation for several years. He is in his early 30s and has a wealth of experience in the industry. Throughout his career, W.G. has established himself as a respected and knowledgeable journalist known for his in-depth coverage of the teams and athletes in Detroit. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for sports, W.G. has become a go-to source for fans and readers looking for the latest news and analysis on the Detroit sports scene. He has a good reputation in the sports community and is respected for his unbiased coverage of sports events. W.G. is known for his ability to uncover hidden stories and provide unique perspectives on the teams and athletes he covers. He has a good understanding of the city of Detroit and its sports culture, which he uses to inform his reporting and analysis. He continues to be a respected journalist in the Detroit sports industry.

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