Michael Badgley

Lions Looking Into Options At Kicker

Since the departure of Matt Prater following the 2020 NFL season, the Lions have struggled to find constancy at the placekicking position. Twice, Michael Badgley has come to their rescue with admirable results, and though he’s set to return in 2024, that hasn’t stopped Detroit from examining all its options.

Badgley first helped out the Lions in 2022, signing with the team’s practice squad in early-October and getting promoted to the active roster three weeks later. After the team opted to move on from Austin Seibert, Badgley took over the job and didn’t relinquish it. For the rest of the year, Badgley made 20 of his 24 field goal attempts and went a perfect 33-for-33 on extra point attempts. The team re-signed Badgley for the 2023 season but cut him in July.

Instead, the team opted for Riley Patterson last season. In 13 games, Patterson only missed two of 17 field goal attempts, but when the Memphis-product missed two extra point attempts within a three-game stretch, the Lions waived him in favor of Badgley, who had remained on their practice squad all year.

Once again, Badgely gave the Lions what they were looking for. Though, he too missed two extra point attempts in his four regular season games, Badgley was a perfect four-for-four on field goals. During the team’s run to the NFC Championship Game, Badgley was a perfect three-for-three on field goals and 11-for-11 on extra points. Despite this consistency, Badgley was rarely tested in big moments. Throughout the playoffs, head coach Dan Campbell repeatedly opted to go for it in long field goal scenarios.

The only other option currently on the roster is James Turner, an undrafted rookie from Michigan. A grad transfer for the Wolverines after four years at Louisville, Turner showed inconsistent production at the collegiate level. Turner missed eight field goals and two extra points in his sophomore season with the Cardinals. He never made more than 20 field goals in a season and only had a career-long of 50 yards, so he may not be the answer to Campbell’s hesitation from long distance.

The veteran free agent market is relatively bare. With many kickers already signed or re-signed, only Randy Bullock serves as an experienced option. The 34-year-old only appeared in six games for the Giants last year, though.

Another intriguing option in free agency, though, is Michigan Panthers kicker Jake Bates in the UFL. Bates signed with the Texans last year after going undrafted but was waived just prior to the preseason. This wasn’t extremely surprising as Bates didn’t kick any field goals in college. During time at Texas State and Arkansas, Bates was utilized singularly on kickoffs, utilizing leg strength gained in two seasons of college soccer at Central Arkansas. Finding his place in the UFL, though, Bates has taken the football world by storm.

Coming into a game today, Bates’ stats consisted of 15 made field goals out of 18 attempts. While the accuracy is admirable, what’s really impressive is his leg strength. His only three misses have come from over 50 yards, yet he is still six-for-nine from long distance. Of those six makes from 50+, three of those were from 60 yards or further. The young kicker doesn’t shy away from the spotlight either. Two of his makes have been game-winners, including a career-long 64-yarder to open the season. His 64-yard make is second to only Justin Tucker‘s 66-yarder in Detroit’s stadium.

That being said, Bates is still under contract with the Panthers and cannot communicate with NFL teams at the moment nor can his agent. Currently, the Panthers themselves are the only ones who can communicate with any interested parties, given their ownership of his contract.

Still, Bates to Detroit makes a lot of sense. The team has an expressed desire to bring in some competition at kicker and reached out to the Panthers already, and Bates has seen all of this kicking success come in the city of Detroit at Ford Field. Bates could be the long-distance answer that convinces Campbell not to go for it next year.

The Lions may have to wait for the close of the UFL season to acquire Bates but consider them a top candidate to land his services in 2024. If that plays out, Badgely could once again be relegated to a break-glass-in-case-of-emergency role, if he doesn’t find a new home altogether.

Lions To Re-Sign K Michael Badgley

Winning a prolonged practice competition last season, Michael Badgley reclaimed his job after the Lions had previously traded for Riley Patterson. Closing the season as Detroit’s kicker again, Badgley is poised to enter the team’s offseason program in the role.

The Lions are keeping Badgley, according to his agency (via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport), by agreeing to a one-year deal Thursday. Badgley, 28, kicked in seven games — counting three playoff tilts — for the NFC North champions last season. This continues an on-again, off-again partnership.

Detroit had brought Badgley back on a practice squad agreement last year, continuing a busy run of transactions for the kicker. The Lions had cut Badgley just before training camp, leading him to the Commanders. Badgley did not stick as Washington’s kicker, being released last summer, and spent a few days in Tennessee. But the Lions circled back to their primary 2022 kicker, stashing him on their P-squad in August. That pickup eventually led to Detroit giving him the kicking reins back late in the season.

A kicker chain reaction produced the Badgley-Patterson practice competition. The Broncos released longtime kicker Brandon McManus last year, leading to the Jaguars picking him up. That led them to dangle Patterson in deals. After speaking with the Cowboys, the Jags ultimately dealt Patterson to the Lions. That prompted Detroit to release Badgley, despite having re-signed him in March 2023. Despite Patterson making more than 85% of his kicks during the regular season, the Lions booted him and rolled with Badgley for the stretch run.

Badgley made each of his four regular-season field goal tries last year, missing two extra points. He was 3-for-3 in the playoffs, though the sequences in which Dan Campbell left his kicker on the sideline proved more memorable than those makes. Campbell eschewed two second-half Badgley tries inside of 50 yards to go for fourth-and-shorts; both plays failed in a 34-31 loss to the 49ers.

In 2022, Badgley was 33-for-33 on PATs and 20 of 24 on field goals with the Lions. The team had signed Badgley in October 2022, scooping him up after the Bears cut him. Badgley replaced Dominik Eberle that year. Overall, Badgley has played six NFL seasons. While he enjoyed steady Chargers employment for three years, the past three have brought in-season transactions. Since leaving Los Angeles in 2021, Badgley has kicked for the Colts, Titans, Bears and Lions. He will make an attempt at a more stable 2024.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/29/23

Friday’s minor transactions:

Arizona Cardinals

Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Las Vegas Raiders

Minnesota Vikings

Badgley has officially been tabbed as the leg to depend on for the remainder of the season as well as for the Lions’ first playoff run since 2016. Detroit waived Riley Patterson two weeks ago, allowing Badgley to stake his claim on the job once again.

The Cabinda departure is a little surprising, considering the Lions just utilized one of their injured reserve activations on the former linebacker yesterday. Because of that investment, it would make sense to see Cabinda return to Detroit on a practice squad deal here in the next few days.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/23/23

Saturday’s gameday elevations and other minor moves around the league:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys 

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New York Jets

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

The Bills will not have depth running back Ty Johnson available for tonight’s game, leading to the decision to elevate Fournette. The former Super Bowl champion will thus make his Buffalo debut, although with lead back James Cook in the lineup, Fournette will likely not receive many looks on offense. The latter has already returned a kickoff for the first time in his career, however.

Signed to the Dolphins’ practice squad last week, Ingram will also make his 2023 debut in Week 16. The 34-year-old last played during his Miami stint in 2022, during which time he started three games and recorded six sacks. With Jaelan Phillips out for the year, Ingram will look to once again give the Dolphins a rotational presence off the edge.

Lions Waive Riley Patterson, Activate Hendon Hooker From Reserve/NFI List

In his second stint with the Lions, Riley Patterson served as the team’s kicker for 13 games this season. The offseason trade acquisition made more than 88% of his field goal attempts, but the Lions are still moving on once again.

The Lions waived Patterson on Tuesday. This clears the path for Michael Badgley to take over. An internal competition will lead to Detroit making a full-on change. Dan Campbell said Patterson and Badgley had vied for the job over the past several weeks in practice. Despite Patterson remaining on Detroit’s active roster throughout this period, the Lions elevated Badgley to kick against the Broncos.

The job is now Badgley’s for good. Badgley operated as the Lions’ kicker to close last season. The team, however, swapped future seventh-round picks with the Jaguars to reacquire Patterson — a Lions kicker for seven games in 2021 — following Jacksonville’s Brandon McManus signing. Patterson now returns to the waiver wire.

Additionally, the Lions made the move to activate Hendon Hooker from their reserve/NFI list. Hooker suffered a torn ACL last November; the injury affected the Tennessee standout’s draft prospects. The Lions selected Hooker early in the third round but parked him on the NFI list. Tuesday’s activation will prevent Hooker’s rookie contract from tolling to 2027.

The Lions made the Patterson trade in May. Following a chain reaction that began with Sean Payton cutting McManus after a nine-season Broncos run, the Jags had discussed a trade with the Cowboys involving Patterson. But the Lions ended up sending a 2026 draft choice to reacquire the third-year specialist. The team used Badgley in 12 games last season and re-signed him on a practice squad deal after the Titans released him in August. Evidently impressive Badgley practice work will lead to the NFC North leaders shaking up their kicker situation.

Patterson has only attempted four field goals from beyond 40 yards this season; he is 3 of 4 on those kicks. Badgley was 9-for-11 from 40-49 yards last year and 2-for-3 from beyond 50. Patterson missed two PATs this season; Badgley did not miss an extra point last year with the Lions and was 6-for-6 in the team’s win over the Broncos on Saturday night.

This does mark an interesting switch for the Lions, who are on the verge of clinching their first division title in 30 years. The team initially cut Patterson to close out training camp in August 2022. Patterson ended up kicking throughout last season in Jacksonville. After the Lions went with Austin Seibert to start last season, they signed Badgley in early October. Badgley, 28, re-signed with Detroit in March but has been with three teams in 2023. Weeks after the Patterson trade, the Lions released Badgley, whom the Commanders and Titans subsequently cut. This complicated journey will lead him back into a role as the Lions’ primary kicker.

Hooker’s role suddenly looks clearer. The Lions are using Teddy Bridgewater as their backup quarterback this season, but the 31-year-old veteran is tied to a one-year contract. Bridgewater also announced over the weekend he plans to retire following the season. With Bridgewater planning to become a high school coach, the Lions have Hooker penciled in as Goff’s long-term backup.

The Lions have been cautious with Hooker, keeping him on the NFI list well into November and using his full activation window before moving him to the 53-man roster. Detroit now has three QBs on its 53-man roster and a fourth (David Blough) on its practice squad.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/16/23

Today’s minor transactions and standard gameday elevations for the Sunday slate of games:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

Wilkinson returned to practice this week, and will be eligible to return to the lineup on Sunday given today’s activation. The addition of a starter up front will be welcomed by the Cardinals by giving them stability at the left guard spot in particular and by providing an upgrade in protection ahead of a matchup against the stout 49ers defensive front in general. The Cardinals now have four IR activations remaining.

Street was acquired from the Eagles at the trade deadline after he failed to find playing time this season. The 27-year-old has started all five of his appearances in Atlanta, however, racking up 14 tackles (including four for a loss) and one sack. Those numbers will help his free agent market this offseason, but a pectoral injury will sideline him for at least four weeks. If the Falcons fall short of the postseason, therefore, Street will not return in 2023.

McCain was a full-time starter with the Commanders over the past two seasons, but his release led to a one-year Giants agreement. The former fifth-rounder has 87 starts to his name, but he has been unable to carve out a role in New York’s secondary, playing only 19 defensive snaps. McCain has logged a 50% snap share on special teams, however, so his absence in the third phase will be notable if he is claimed off waivers or signed as a free agent by an interested team.

Titans Release Michael Badgley; K Joins Lions’ Practice Squad

AUGUST 30: Badgley’s whirlwind offseason will wind up taking him back to where it began. He is part of the Lions’ initial practice squad, as the team announced on Wednesday. That could give him the opportunity to reclaim his role as Detroit’s kicker if Riley Patterson falters or suffers an injury. Failing that, another chance could arise during the campaign which entices him to once again depart the Motor City.

AUGUST 27: After moving on from their other two kickers, the Titans paved the way for Michael Badgley to win their kicking job. That has not taken place, however; the team announced on Sunday that he is among their preliminary roster cuts.

Badgley enjoyed a strong finish to the season in Detroit last season, and that earned him a new deal with the Lions. He quickly found himself being released, however, which led him to Washington in a bid to beat out Joey Slye for the Commanders’ kicking gig. That did not take place, and the Titans became Badgley’s third team this offseason.

Tennessee waived Caleb Shudak and Trey Wolff in the wake of signing Badgley. That seemed to give the latter a clear opportunity to find a home to at least begin the 2023 season, but he struggled upon arrival in camp practices. The 28-year-old then converted three of four field goal attempts in the Titans’ preseason finale. Those performances were not sufficient to earn him the job, and the Titans again find themselves in the market for an addition at the position in the build-up to the season.

Given today’s move, the team does not currently have a kicker on the roster. After two seasons of Randy Bullock handling kicking duties, it thus remains unclear who will have those responsibilities when the 2023 campaign begins. Bullock – like a number of veteran kickers – remains unsigned at the moment, but interest will pick up in the near future as teams sort out their rosters.

In addition to moving on from Badgley, the Titans announced that defensive back L.J. Davis, receiver Gavin Holmes, offensive linemen Zack Johnson and James Murray, as well as tight end Justin Rigg have been waived. Many more moves will be needed in the coming days to finalize the team’s 53-man roster.

Wednesday NFL Transactions: NFC North

Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline Tuesday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters. In addition to waiver claims, teams can begin constructing their 16-man practice squads today. These BearsLionsPackers and Vikings moves are noted below.

Chicago Bears

Placed on IR:

Signed:

Claimed:

Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

Detroit Lions

Claimed:

Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

Green Bay Packers

Claimed:

Released:

Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

Minnesota Vikings

Placed on IR:

Claimed:

Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

Titans Sign K Michael Badgley, Waive Caleb Shudak, Trey Wolff

The Titans have made a shake-up to their kicking situation. The team announced on Tuesday that Michael Badgley has been signed, and incumbents Caleb Shudak and Trey Wolff have each been waived.

Badgley joined the Commanders last month, putting him in a competition with Joey Slye. The latter won out Washington’s kicking job, however, leading to Badgley’s release over the weekend. He has not needed to wait long to find a new opportunity, and he now stands alone as Tennessee’s only kicker in the fold.

The 28-year-old had a brief spell with the Titans in 2021, though he only appeared in one game. Badgley has been a journeyman since his impressive rookie season with the Chargers in 2018, but he rebounded last year during his time with the Bears and Lions. He converted 24 of 28 combined field goal attempts during his time with those two teams, along with all 33 of his extra point tries. That led to a re-up with Detroit in March, but things have not gone as planned since then.

Without any competition for the time being, Badgley will have the chance to secure the Titans’ kicking spot ahead of roster cutdowns next week. As for Shudak and Wolff, they will need to move quickly to find a new opportunity before the preseason wraps up. In case that does not take place, they will be available to at least join the practice squad in Tennessee or elsewhere ahead of the regular season.

Shudak is the only member of the pair with NFL experience. He signed with the Titans as a UDFA last year, but began the season on IR. He made a single appearance in Tennessee, a team which again relied on Randy Bullock at the kicker position when healthy in 2022. The latter was one of several veterans let go this offseason, however, leaving a vacancy the Titans are now turning to Badgley to fill.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/20/23

Here are today’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Detroit Lions

Jacksonville Jaguars

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

It appears that, like Colby Wadman before him, Palardy is just a camp body. Incumbent punter Tress Way is dealing with a back ailment, and he will only work as the holder in the Commanders’ preseason contest against the Ravens tomorrow night (Twitter link via Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post). So Palardy, who has appeared in 80 games in his career (including eight with the Patriots in 2022), will have a chance to audition for other clubs that may be on the lookout for a punter at some point.

Washington is also in need of another player to rotate in on the defensive line, as Jonathan Allen (plantar fasciitis) and Phidarian Mathis are both banged up (Twitter link via ESPN’s John Keim). Mack, who has 25 appearances in his pro career, will at least help the team get through camp and the rest of the preseason slate.