The Detroit Lions are expected to have reached an agreement to sign Michigan Panthers kicker Jake Bates following the conclusion of the UFL season per Aaron Wilson. The signing has to wait until Tuesday per league rules allowing a short period after the conclusion of the UFL Championship game.

Jake Bates drew the attention of NFL teams after he kicked a 64-yard game-winning field goal against the St. Louis Battlehawks in week 1. The kick was the 2nd longest in pro football history. The ball from the kick soon after had a new home on display at the Pro Football Hall of Fame 2 weeks later. Remarkably he made the kick twice as St. Louis called a time-out just before his first attempt forcing him to kick again. Both kicks made it from 64 yards with plenty of distance.

In week 2 Bates again made 2 kicks from a great distance with field goals coming from 62 yards and 52 yards. Against Houston in week 3 he made a field goal from 46 yards and 55 yards. His accuracy from impressive distances made him a fan favorite over the start of the season which saw the Panthers play their first 3 games at home. By the third game, he would be met with cheers anytime he took the field ahead of a field goal attempt.

Over the regular season, Bates made 17 of his 22 field goals. He only had 1 miss from within 50 yards. In kicks from beyond 50 yards, he made 6 out of 10.

In the playoff loss to Birmingham, he made 4 of his 6 field goals. He missed a 51-yard field goal slightly to the right and the other unsuccessful field goal was blocked.

Currently, the Lions have 2 kickers on their roster including Michael Badgley who was with them last season and James Turner who is a rookie out of Michigan.

field goal post week P 1

Graphing the placement of the field goals kicked over the UFL season by Jake Bates. This is measuring the kicks from right to left and is not the height of the kicks.

@JonathanClink on Twitter

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Jonathan Clink
Jonathan Clink will work as UFL News Hub's primary correspondent covering the Michigan Panthers for the 2024. He has written over 250 articles covering the Canadian Football League prior to joining UFL News Hub. Clink is originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba and currently lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has a background in several other sports as well having played soccer, basketball, and hockey competitively.

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