Packers Add Former Lion to Intense Position Battle

The Packers reportedly signed kicker James Turner on Thursday after releasing Jake Podlesny.
Michigan v Nebraska
Michigan v Nebraska / Steven Branscombe/GettyImages

The Green Bay Packers haven’t been shy about bringing in free-agent kickers to compete with Anders Carlson this offseason. 

Carlson had an inconsistent rookie season that saw him struggle on field goals from 40-plus yards out (7-of-13) but was perfect on field goals between 20-39 yards (20-of-20). The rookie kicker had several games last season where he missed a field goal, including in the playoffs against the San Francisco 49ers.

Based on those issues, the Packers brought in Greg Joseph and Jack Podlesny to compete immediately against Carlson in the offseason workouts. Green Bay made a small change to the competition as they surprisingly released Podlesny on Wednesday.

However, the Packers were determined to sign another kicker after letting go of “Hot Pod.” The team turned around and signed former Detroit Lions kicker James Turner on Thursday, who was waived on Tuesday after the Lions signed UFL star Jake Bates.

Coincidentally, the Packers were one of the teams interested in bringing Bates. Nonetheless, Turner has a big leg and should be a formidable opponent for Joseph and Carlson in training camp this summer.

Turner spent five years playing college football, four with Louisville and one with Michigan. Last season with the Wolverines, Turner converted 98.6 percent of his extra points (65-of-66) and 85.7 percent of his field goals (18-of-21).

Meanwhile, during his four-year run with the Cardinals, the 6-foot kicker made 98.4 percent of his extra points but struggled on field goals (79.7 percent). 

However, Turner’s best season at Louisville was in 2022, when he was almost perfect on his field goals (20-of-22 for 90.9 percent). With the rookie free-agent kicker now in camp, it will be interesting to see how Carlson fares. We know what Joseph can do as he has NFL experience, but now the pressure will be ratcheted up more for Carlson.

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