5 free agents the Detroit Lions could still sign before the 2023 season starts

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
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Robbie Gould, Detroit Lions
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

1. PK Robbie Gould

A famous all-time great television show once had an episode titled "Half Measures". That feels something like what the Lions' kicker situation is right now.

Michael Badgley deserves credit for coming in last season and stopping the Lions' kicker turnstile. He was re-signed, of course. But the idea of notable competition being added, or outright pivoting to replace him, was not ridiculous.

Badgley was the only kicker on the Lions' roster until after rookie minicamp. Then XFL standout John Parker Romo was signed after a tryout in rookie minicamp. Later in May, Riley Patterson was re-acquired from the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Re-signing Badgley. Taking a flier on Romo. Bringing back Patterson. Yes, it's "only" the kicker spot. But it's also a bunch of half-measures when there have been credible options out there.

Enter Robbie Gould.

Gould spent his first 11 seasons with the Chicago Bears, making a remarkable 85.4 percent of his field goal attempts while playing half his games in the rough conditions of Soldier Field. After a partial season with the New York Giants in 2016, he made 95.1 percent of his field goals in his first year as a with the San Francisco 49ers in 2017. In 2018, he led the league and set a career best by making 97.1 percent of his field goals. A drop-off followed in 2019, but he has been steady since--matching the template of his entire career.

Plenty of teams have been mentioned as possible suitors for Gould, as expected. Back in March he said he doesn’t necessarily want to return to the Bears though, via The 33rd Team.

"I live here [Chicago] full-time but I don’t know if I want to kick in the cold anymore,” Gould said with a laugh. “I’d look to get a dome and some warm weather first. 40 years, 18 years of doing this, I deserve that I think.”""

Gould did not need to go through OTAs at this point in his career. Doing much in training camp, beyond getting into "playing shape" or learning a new holder/long snapper combo, isn't even all that necessary for him. He has said he wants to win a Super Bowl though, and the Lions probably aren't quite on that level this year.

If they aren't already, the Lions should be keeping some level of tabs on Gould. If their current kicking competition goes even a little off the rails, he should be atop their list of options to consider bringing in. If he says no, or lands somewhere else before they make that call, then other options can be entertained.

Gould may be willing to wait until into the season to sign with a team if that's what it comes to. The Lions could (should?) consider ending their current kicker charade, and sign him before it comes to that.

5 Detroit Lions players who are definitely entering their last season with the team. dark. Next. 5 Detroit Lions players who are definitely entering their last season with the team