Jake Bates contract details reveal obvious thing about Lions' kicking competition

The Lions have added Jake Bates to their kicker competition, and we now have the details of his two-year contract.
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As the UFL season neared the end, and the Michigan Panthers' season was over, it was no surprise kicker Jake Bates had interest from multiple NFL teams. It was also no surprise the Detroit Lions were one of them, and late last week news surfaced the Lions had agreed to a deal with him.

The notable thing from the news of Bates' deal with the Lions was the reported term-two years. The financial specifics would ultimately tell the story, but it appeared the Lions did what they needed to to make sure they beat the competition to sign Bates by going to two years with a fair chunk of guaranteed money.

On Tuesday morning, when it can become official, we got the details of the Lions' deal with Bates.

Via Erik Schlitt of Pride of Detroit, the deal breaks down this way:


Base salary: $795,000 ($50,000 guaranteed)
Signing bonus: $50,000 (guaranteed)
Roster bonus: $50,000
Cap hit: $895,000


Base salary: $960,000
Signing bonus: $50,000 (guaranteed)
Workout bonus: $75,000
Cap hit: $1.085 million

Bates will get $150,000 guaranteed whether he makes the Lions roster or not. If he does stick, and does so for two seasons, he can max out at that $1.98 million.

Jakes Bates contract details simply confirm he'll get a chance to be the Lions' kicker

For comparison sake, the one-year deal the Lions gave Michael Badgley this offseason has a total of $425,000 in guaranteed money ($257,500 guaranteed salary; $167.500 signing bonus). If he is cut, that $425,000 is the dead money the Lions would take on. Bates would have a $150,000 dead money hit if he is cut, which of course is his total guaranteed money.

Undrafted rookie James Turner, who gained a literal leg up on Badgley in the kicking competition during minicamp, has a three-year UDFA deal with a $795,833 cap hit this year and $2,500 in guarantees. If Bates were a UDFA, his guaranteed money would rank third in the Lions' UDFA class this year.

It's unclear if the Lions will carry three kickers into training camp, but they certainly might in an effort to fully flesh out the competition. Bates is getting a shot to win the job, and it should be an equal shot compared to his two competitors.


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