Lions Make Final Call on Kicker Michael Badgley: Report

Michael Badgley

Getty NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported on February 22 that the Detroit Lions have signed kicker Michael Badgley to a 1-year contract.

Kicker Michael Badgley returned to the Detroit Lions for a second stint in 2023. That tenure is going to continue into 2024.

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported on February 22 that Badgley’s agent said the kicker has signed a 1-year contract to return to the Lions next season.

Badgley has appeared in 16 games for the Lions over the past two seasons. He’s also kicked for the Los Angeles Chargers, Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans in his six-year career.

In four regular season games last season, Badgley made all 4 of his field-goal tries and went 13-for-15 on extra points. His longest field goal was 41 yards.

During the playoffs, Badgley went 3-for-3, which included a successful attempt from 54 yards. He also made all 11 of his extra-point opportunities.

The financial details of Badgley’s 1-year contract were not initially disclosed.

Lions Re-Sign Kicker Michael Badgley

After ending the 2022 season as Detroit’s kicker, the Lions brought back Badgley last summer. However, the team released him on July 20.

Following stints during training camp and the preseason with the Washington Commanders and Titans, Badgley joined the Lions practice squad on August 30.

Riley Patterson returned to be Detroit’s kicker at the start of the 2023 season. Patterson went 15-for-17 on field-goal tries (88.2%) and was successful on 35 of 37 extra points (94.6%) in 13 games.

However, the Lions made Patterson inactive in Week 15. As a practice squad elevation, Badgley made his 2023 debut with Detroit that week. Then on December 19, the Lions waived Patterson, who quickly joined the Cleveland Browns practice squad.

Badgley hasn’t found a consistent home in his six-year career. But he’s kicked more for the Lions than anyone else except the Chargers.

In 64 NFL games, Badgley has made 82.4% of his field goals. With the Lions, he has been successful on 85.7% of his tries.

Badgley doesn’t have the strongest leg. He is just 5-for-13 on attempts from 50 yards or further in his career. But in Detroit, he has the advantage of kicking inside for home games.

Historically, though, that hasn’t been much of an edge for Badgley. He has made just 76.3% of his field-goal attempts in 19 games at dome stadiums in his career.

At Ford Field, Badgley has converted on 14 of 16 field-goal tries (87.5%) in 10 games, including the playoffs.

Will Lions Trust Badgley in Key Moments Next Season?

Badgley kicked well in six games with the Lions to end 2023. But it was a small sample.

Furthermore, outside of the 54-yard attempt during the third quarter of the NFC wild card matchup, the team didn’t ask Badgley to make any long kicks or to come through in pressure situations.

Pundits have argued over the last few weeks that he should have had two 45-plus yard attempts during the second half of the NFC championship game. But instead of field-goal tries, the Lions went for fourth-and-short. Both times, they were unsuccessful.

Detroit head coach Dan Campbell was aggressive on fourth down throughout the 2023 season. His decision to go for fourth-and-short in those situations likely had more to do with his trust in the offense than lack of confidence in Badgley.

But with Badgley returning, it’s worth wondering if the Lions will turn to him in more pressure situations during 2024.

Badgley hasn’t been very accurate even on kicks from beyond 39 yards during his career. He’s gone 42-for-61 (68.9%) from that distance in his six NFL seasons.

Since the start of 2022, Badgley is 12-for-15 (80%) from 40 yards or longer.

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