April 17, 2024

Packers need to give UFL kicker Jake Bates a longer deal.

Kicker Jake Bates became a hero over the first weekend of UFL football action.

With his Michigan Panthers trailing the St. Louis Battlehawks, 16-15, with just seconds left in the game, Bates drilled a 64-yard goal to give the Panthers the win.

Not only was it a clutch kick, but this thing didn’t just squeak by the uprights. Bates boomed it, and in the process, he got himself on the radar for multiple kicker-hungry NFL teams

And frankly, there’s no reason the Green Bay Packers shouldn’t be among them. In fact, the Pack should just go ahead and submit a contract over to Bates’ agent before this thing gets away from them.

The Packers signed veteran Greg Joseph earlier this offseason to create competition for soon-to-be second-year kicker Anders Carlson, but frankly, does either kicker inspire confidence for what is otherwise shaping up to be a Super Bowl-contending roster?

Joseph has made 100-of-121 NFL field goals over five seasons but he’s essentially a journeyman, having kicked for the Cleveland Browns, Tennessee Titans and most recently, the Minnesota Vikings for the past three seasons. Yes, he found his place in Minnesota, but great kickers don’t have that many teams under their belt at just 29 years old.

Speaking of great kickers, Carlson has the leg to be a great kicker and that’s why the Packers spent a sixth-round pick on him in 2023. With that said, his accuracy is questionable. He hit just 27-of-33 field goals last season and he missed way too many extra points (34-of-39).

Carlson was just 3-of-5 from 50 yards-plus, and his long field goal was only 53 yards.

Bates’ long is officially over 10 yards more, and sure, it happened in the UFL, but a long kick is a long kick no matter how it shakes out.

Speaking of great kickers, Carlson has the leg to be a great kicker and that’s why the Packers spent a sixth-round pick on him in 2023. With that said, his accuracy is questionable. He hit just 27-of-33 field goals last season and he missed way too many extra points (34-of-39).

Carlson was just 3-of-5 from 50 yards-plus, and his long field goal was only 53 yards.

Bates’ long is officially over 10 yards more, and sure, it happened in the UFL, but a long kick is a long kick no matter how it shakes out.

If the Packers want to be serious at kicker, this is the move. Sign Bates and at least add him into the competition this offseason.

May the best kicker win.

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