Detroit Lions add John Parker Romo to create kicker competition
The Detroit Lions have (finally?) added some competition for Michael Badgley, signing XFL kicker John Parker Romo.
The Detroit Lions did not draft a kicker, and they haven’t appeared compelled to sign any notable veteran who is available. John Parker Romo kicked in the XFL this year, and he was in Allen Park for a tryout at rookie minicamp last weekend.
Romo posted on Twitter that he was signing with the Lions on Monday night, and on Tuesday morning the team confirmed the move.
Romo was an All-ACC kicker at Virginia Tech in 2021 at the end of a well-traveled college career before that (Central Arkansas and Tulsa before that), and he signed with the New Orleans Saints in 2022 after going undrafted. After being released, Romo signed with the San Antonio Brahmas in the XFL and had a nice 2023 eason.
Romo led the XFL with 17 made field goals (on 19 attempts; 9-for-10 from over 40 yards out, including a 57-yarder) as he was named to the All-XFL Team.
Could John Parker Romo win the kicking job for the Detroit Lions?
Michael Badgley put a stop to the Lions’ season-plus long turnstile of kickers last season, going 20-for-24 on field goals and 33-for-33 on extra points over 12 games. The team seemed content with him keeping the job in 2023, re-signing him instead of replacing him and adding no notable competition all offseason to this point.
But going through OTAs, and probably training camp and the preseason, with only one kicker who’s not one of the best in the NFL doesn’t make much sense. Competition probably should have come sooner, but Romo seems like a solid get after a nice showing in the XFL. The Lions were probably not the only team who wanted to get a look at him during a rookie minicamp tryout.
Badgley deserves plenty of credit for his performance last season, stabilizing the Lions’ kicker situation as they won a lot of games down the stretch. But he’s not irreplaceable, and Romo is now some interesting competition in the mix as broader OTAs loom.