Packers' Latest Move Shows Lack of Faith in Anders Carlson

After an abysmal 2023 performance, kicker Anders Carlson's days in Green Bay could be numbered judging by the Packers' latest offseason move.
Are the Packers losing faith in Anders Carlson?
Are the Packers losing faith in Anders Carlson? / Mark Hoffman / Milwaukee Journal

One of the most important aspects of winning in the NFL is having a reliable kicker. Although a lot of attention tends to be put on quarterbacks and their weapons, having a kicker you can count on is equally important — especially when a last-second field goal can be the difference between winning and losing a crucial game.

Green Bay Packers fans learned that reality last season. 2023 seventh-round selection Anders Carlson struggled to consistently make his opportunities during his rookie campaign, leaving the Green Bay fanbase to wonder if he'll be back in the starting job this fall.

Well, judging by the latest Packers rumors, the 25-year-old's time with the franchise could be in jeopardy.

Packers Rumors: Green Bay Targeting UFL's Jake Bates?

With training camps opening next month, the Packers seem to be looking to give Carlson more competition. NFL insider Aaron Wilson is reporting that Green Bay — along with three other franchises — is hoping to host kicker Jake Bates, who was with the UFL's Michigan Panthers this season.

If the Packers successfully add Bates, he'll become the fourth kicker on their roster. Green Bay already added veteran legs Greg Joseph and Jack Podlesny earlier this offseason to give Carlson a bit more competition this summer.

Drafted 207th overall in 2023, Carlson left much to be desired during his rookie season. He only completed 27-of-33 field-goal attempts (81.8%) and 34-of-39 extra-point tries (87.2%) while leading the NFL with 11 total missed kicks. It didn't help that he missed a potential playoff-saving kick against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Divisional Round.

In other words, you can't blame Packers fans for viewing the UFL stud as a potential upgrade over their current situation.

Bates, 24, racked up 51 total points for the Panthers this season while going 17-for-22 (77.2%) on his FG attempts. Although his success rate was far from perfect, he set the UFL record with a 64-yard kick against the St. Louis Battlehawks in Week 1 and earned all-conference honors for his season-long performance.

After being cut from the Houston Texans' practice squad last summer, Bates will likely be motivated to make the most of his opportunities wherever he goes. If that destination ends up being Green Bay, Packers fans certainly won't complain if he manages to replicate his UFL success.

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