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Michigan Panthers Kicker Jake Bates Signs with Detroit Lions

June 18, 2024 - United Football League (UFL)
Michigan Panthers News Release


ARLINGTON, Texas - The United Football League has announced that Michigan Panthers kicker Jake Bates has signed a two-year contract with the Detroit Lions of the National Football League.

Bates broke onto the UFL scene in Week 1, nailing a 64-yard field goal attempt which would go on to be the game winner, against the St. Louis Battlehawks. During the 2024 season, he was dependable from deep, converting 7-of-11 from 50+ yards and 3-of-4 from 60+ yards. Bates finished the season 17-of-22, and his longest of 64 was the longest field goal in the league. He earned All-UFL honors following the season for his kicking efforts.

The Tomball, Texas native was heavily relied on throughout the season, kicking two game-winning field goals and tallying five games with multiple field goals in each. Bates notably went 5-for-5, including a 42-yard game winner, against the Arlington Renegades in Week 6.

The Panthers kicker was previously a collegiate soccer player at Central Arkansas before taking the leap to college football, making stops at Texas State and Arkansas as their kickoff specialist. Bates was also a kickoff specialist in high school, making his 64-yard boot the first converted competitive field goal of his career.

This will be Bates' second NFL stint, as he was with the Houston Texans during the 2023 preseason.


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