Lions Reach Agreement to Bring Back Steady Kicker for 2023 Roster

Michael Badgley

Getty Michael Badgley celebrates a made kick in 2023.

The Detroit Lions had plenty of internal questions in free agency, but one that few folks worried about was the position of kicker.

After coming on the scene and doing a nice job in 2022, Michael Badgley was a free agent, and nobody was sure if the Lions would make him a priority. Early in free agency, they did just that.

On Friday, March 17, Badgley’s agent Brian McLaughlin tweeted that his client had agreed to terms with the Lions, meaning Badgley will be back with the team for yet another season.

“Excited for Mike Badgley agreeing to terms with the Lions,” McLaughlin tweeted.

Late last season, the Lions added Badgley to the mix following a rough run of kicking by Austin Seibert. Prior to joining the Lions, Badgley kicked for a week with the Chicago Bears, going 4-4 on his kicks. By the next Thursday, he was in a Detroit uniform for good.

Badgley started his career with the Los Angeles Chargers, kicking there from 2018-2020 and making 52-65 kicks. He would then kick with Tennessee for a game before landing with the Indianapolis Colts for 12 games in 2021 where he went 18-21 on kicks. As a whole, Badgley is 94-115 in his career, which is good for an 81.7% conversion rate.

Now, he will get to make his case to the Lions for the job once again this offseason, and based on his work from last year, be the leading man for the job.

Michael Badgley Solidified Lions Kicking Job

After the Lions had kicking problems which were looking destined to doom them midseason, all Badgley did was come into the fray and stabilize things from the moment he hit the team. Outside of one rare miss on Thanksgiving Day, Badgley has been fantastic.

During the game in Week 13, Badgley had arguably his best game as a member of the Lions if not his best in the NFL the last handful of seasons. The kicker was 4-4 in the game, and also a perfect 4-4 on extra points. He collected 16 total points on the day.

Kicking has quietly been a huge problem in Detroit since the team let Matt Prater go a few years back, but Badgley helped in putting all of that behind the team since he has joined.

Ever since signing with Detroit, Badgley has gone 20-24 with a long kick of 53 yards. He has also been perfect on extra points, making 33 in his time with the Lions last season. For that reason, he deserved a shot to come back for next year.

Lions Might Still Add to Kicking Competition

Though Badgley is slated to be back in the mix, the Lions might still want to add competition at kicker for the offseason as well as training camp.

Last season, Detroit did that keeping Seibert around and letting him battle it out with Riley Patterson. After camp, they elected to keep Seibert over Patterson in a move that proved to look like a mistake.

This year, the Lions could be back on the hunt for a kicker, and may decide to turn to the draft to find one. Free Press writer Dave Birkett wondered if the team will feel like they need to use the 2023 draft to find another player to battle it out with Badgley.

“Lions still need competition at kicker. We’ll see if they feel compelled to draft one,” Birkett tweeted.

In terms of a local player that could represent competition, Michigan’s Jake Moody said via Birkett that he has only had limited contact with the Lions thus far and does not have a workout scheduled with the team at the moment.

“FWIW, Michigan K Jake Moody said at pro day today he’s had limited contact with the Lions, does not currently have a workout scheduled with them. He does have a few privates on tap, declined to say with what teams,” Birkett tweeted.

Obviously, there are more players in the draft than just Moody at the position. Maryland’s Chad Ryland is another intriguing option at the position, as is Andre Szmyt of Syracuse, Jack Podlesny of Georgia and Christopher Dunn of North Carolina State.

For now, Badgley is back, but he might have someone to fend off by the time the team meets for spring workouts and the OTA period.

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