NFL News and Rumors: Multiple Teams Including the Lions Interested in UFL Kicker Jake Bates After Game-Winning 64-Yard Field Goal

UFL's Michigan Panthers K Jake Bates has caught the attention of the NFL following a 64-yard game-winning field goal on Sunday afternoon.

We’ve seen it before, and we may be seeing it again with another Spring football league football player playing their way into an NFL contract. Michigan Panthers’ kicker Jake Bates put himself on the NFL map this past Sunday afternoon with a 64-yard game-winning field goal to cap off Week 1 of UFL action.

That kick got the football world buzzing, and might have bought himself a legitimate shot at the NFL.

UFL Kicker Jake Bates Gaining NFL Attention

With the Panthers trailing the St. Louis Battlehawks 16-15 with just eight seconds left in the game, Bates trotted out onto the field and unleashed a rocket off his right foot that not only won the game for his team but may have catapulted his career to new heights.

With a boot that was only two yards shy of the longest in NFL history, the attention around Bates became very real, very quickly.

According to The Detroit News’ Tony Paul, “The Michigan Panthers already have heard from multiple NFL teams about kicker Jake Bates after his 64-yard FG.”

Paul also followed up his original post to confirm that, yes, the Detroit Lions are one of the teams that reached out to Bates, as the best kicker to play at Ford Field may be a Panther and not a Lion.

“Yes, the Lions have already inquired, I am told.”

The 64-yarder was impressive, but Bates joined Pat McAfee on his show Monday morning and spoke about how he’s also capable of making a 67-yarder.

“I had 67 on my pro day, but it hit the ceiling, but it was gonna be good.”

A leg of this magnitude doesn’t come around all that often, and with it being just a season removed from Brandon Aubrey jumping from the USFL to the Dallas Cowboys and having an All-Pro rookie season, proof has been established that Bates could walk into an NFL camp and compete with the games best at the position.

Get To Know Bates

Bates is a kicker from Tomball, Texas, who originally started his college sports career at the University of Central Arkansas as a soccer player, where he played for two seasons. Following a two-year stint at UCA, he changed courses and decided to kick a different type of ball and started his football career at Texas State.

Bates spent two seasons with Texas State, where he served as a kickoff specialist, with no field-goal attempts in game action. From there, he once again transferred, this time joining the Razorbacks in Arkansas, where he earned first-team All-SEC honors from the league’s coaches as a kickoff specialist in his lone season with the program.

Bates once again did not kick a field goal during his time, completing three full football seasons without doing so. Nevertheless, he led the SEC and finished fourth nationally with an average of 64.47 yards per kickoff and third with 64 touchbacks out of 75 kickoff attempts.

Bates is now the placekicker for the Panthers of the UFL, and with his explosion onto the professional football scene, his kicking story may only just be beginning.

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