Lions Gift Packers Potential Signing After Stealing USFL Standout

After missing out on Jake Bates, the Packers could look at another kicker the Lions just released to add to their competition.
Ohio State v Michigan
Ohio State v Michigan / Aaron J. Thornton/GettyImages

The Green Bay Packers were one of the teams interested in Michigan Panthers star kicker Jake Bates before he ultimately signed with the Detroit Lions

The Packers haven’t been shy about having an open competition for kicker this offseason after rookie Anders Carlson struggled in 2023. Bates would be an excellent addition to compete with Carlson, Greg Joseph, and Jack Podlesny.

However, there might be another kicker, who was released from the Lions that Green Bay could look to bring in before training camp next month. 

Detroit announced Tuesday that they signed Bates and waived James Turner. Turner reportedly showcased a strong leg in the Lions’ offseason practices, which the Packers could use with the struggles Carlson had with field goals that were 40-plus yards out.

Turner signed with the Lions this spring after wrapping up his collegiate career at the University of Michigan. Last season with the Wolverines, the 6-foot kicker made 98.6 percent of his extra points (65-of-66) and 85.7 percent of field goals (18-of-21).

Before landing at the University of Michigan this past season, Turner spent the first four years of college at Louisville. Turner was solid with the Cardinals, making 98.4 percent of his extra points but only 79.7 percent of his field goals.

Turner’s best season at Louisville was in 2022, making 97.4 percent of his field goals (38-of-39) and a career-high 90.9 percent of field goals (20-of-22).

With all that being said, it would be shocking to see the Packers signing another kicker as they appear to be set with the three heading into training camp. It should be an interesting battle for all three kickers as Carlson has a lot to prove after an inconsistent rookie season. But it won’t be easy as Joseph and Podlesny will push him.

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