Lions signing UFL kicker Jake Bates to 2-year deal

ByABC News
June 15, 2024, 10:29 AM

The Detroit Lions are signing big-footed UFL kicker Jake Bates to a two-year contract this week, his agent, Marty Magid, told ESPN's Adam Schefter on Saturday.

Bates, 24, ranked second in the UFL this season with 17 field goals for the Michigan Panthers. That includes a 64-yard game-winning kick in the season opener against the St. Louis Battlehawks -- just two yards less than Justin Tucker's NFL record of 66.

That kick was Bates' first in a game, as the former soccer player didn't turn to football until he was a senior in high school and was a kickoff specialist in college at Texas State and Arkansas.

Bates visited the Lions, Packers and Commanders before opting to stay in Michigan.