The Detroit Lions have had some kicking woes lately, but they have made a move designed to try and shake things up and solidify things.
A few days after signing Michael Badgley to the practice squad, the Lions apparently liked what they saw in practice enough to make another move. After cutting Dominik Eberle this week, the Lions moved on from Austin Seibert next.
On the evening of Friday, October 7, the Lions revealed the news with a tweet.
“Lions waive K Austin Seibert,” the Lions official site tweeted.
The move to release Seibert adds another later to the ongoing problem of the Detroit kicker spot. Since last year when they let Matt Prater walk, the Lions have rotated through marginal kickers, with Randy Bullock, Zane Gonzalez, Austin Seibert and Riley Patterson all trying their hand.
This year, Detroit tried Eberle, and he wasn’t good enough to make the cut last week. Now, Badgley will get his shot at solidifying the role with news of this release, while Seibert will have to look for another home somewhere else in the league.
Lions Make Kicker Shuffle This Week
The move to add Badgley was a corresponding signing after the team had released Eberle earlier on Tuesday. Eberle wasn’t the reason the Lions lost on Sunday, but his struggles helped in that.
Eberle missed a pair of extra points, so the Lions had a kicker tryout this week. They brought in Lirim Hajrullahu and Sam Ficken, neither of whom they ended up signing. The move to replace Seibert is interesting given he seemed to be the favorite of the staff.
Seibert was 13-17 in his Detroit career, and was just 60% on accuracy this year. He battled injury in 2021 as well as a groin ailment that cost him time this year. He missed a pair of kicks in Week 3 that could have won the Lions the game.
The Lions are looking for something stable at kicker, and the hope is that Badgley can provide that.
Badgley’s Career Stats & Highlights
At 27, Badgley isn’t that old, but he has been in the league for four years already and has been very accurate thus far in his four stops.
An undrafted free agent out of Miami, Badgley signed with the Los Angeles Chargers in 2018 and ended up as the team’s kicker. His rookie year, he was a stellar 15-16 on kicks with a long of 59 yards. Come 2020, Badgley lost some of that accuracy, going 24-33 and 36 of 39 on extra points.
After exiting Los Angeles, Badgley kicked in one game for Tennessee in 2020, and was 1-2 on extra points. The Indianapolis Colts picked him up in 2021, and he was 18-21 on kicks and a perfect 39-39 on extra points. Overall, he has made 80.5% of his kicks in the NFL.
Badgley offers some solid NFL experience and has proven to have a strong leg before. Now, after this move, the reigns will be handed in his direction for the future and likely the rest of 2022 barring injury or his own inconsistency.