Michigan Panthers Kicker Jake Bates Signs With Detroit Lions


by Sage Sammons

The Panthers kicker, who drilled a 64-yard game-winning field goal in Week 1, signs a two-year deal with the Detroit Lions

ARLINGTON, Texas (June 18, 2024) – The United Football League has announced that Michigan Panthers kicker Jake Bates has signed a two-year contract with the Detroit Lions of the National Football League.


Bates broke onto the UFL scene in Week 1, nailing a 64-yard field goal attempt which would go on to be the game winner, against the St. Louis Battlehawks. During the 2024 season, he was dependable from deep, converting 7-of-11 from 50+ yards and 3-of-4 from 60+ yards. Bates finished the season 17-of-22, and his longest of 64 was the longest field goal in the league. He earned All-UFL honors following the season for his kicking efforts.


The Tomball, Texas native was heavily relied on throughout the season, kicking two game-winning field goals and tallying five games with multiple field goals in each. Bates notably went 5-for-5, including a 42-yard game winner, against the Arlington Renegades in Week 6.


The Panthers kicker was previously a collegiate soccer player at Central Arkansas before taking the leap to college football, making stops at Texas State and Arkansas as their kickoff specialist. Bates was also a kickoff specialist in high school, making his 64-yard boot the first converted competitive field goal of his career.


This will be Bates’ second NFL stint, as he was with the Houston Texans during the 2023 preseason.

About the United Football League
The United Football League (UFL) is set to launch as the premier spring football platform, formed by merging the XFL and USFL in 2024. The UFL has eight teams in Arlington (TX), Birmingham (AL), Detroit (MI), Houston (TX), San Antonio (TX), Memphis (TN), St. Louis (MO, and Washington D.C.


Media Contacts

Michigan Panthers

Sage Sammons

Director, Team Communications & Media Relations


Cell: 702-478-0166


United Football League

Jeff Altstadter

VP, Communications



  • UFL Shop , opens in a new tab
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms & Conditions
  • Careers , opens in a new tab