Lions make fairly surprising decision to cut kicker Michael Badgley

In a somewhat shocking move, the Lions have released kicker Michael Badgley before training camp starts in earnest.
Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

It was patently unlikely the Detroit Lions will carry three kickers very far into training camp and the preseason, as the battle between Michael Badgley, John Parker Romo and Riley Patterson would be whittled down as much due to roster spot shuffling as anything. If you were to rank them by safety from being cut, Badgley would've been No. 1. Well...

As first reported by NFL Network's Tom Pelissero and confirmed by others, the Lions released Badgley on Thursday.

In 12 games last season Badgley effectively stabilized the Lions' kicker situation, making 20-of-24 field goals and all 33 of his extra points. He was re-signed in March, but the door felt open for added competition or for him to be replaced all along. On that idea, he made our list of five Lions' cut candidates going into the summer.

It's worth noting that Badgley is a vested veteran and not subject to waivers, as Romo and Patterson would be subject to waivers. Badgley may be dealing with an injury, though his level of participation during OTAs based on on-site reporting would seem to make that unlikely. But maybe an injury pre-dates that.

Will the Lions just bring back Michael Badgley?

Cutting Badgley just to bring him back at some point between now and Week 1 would be boring. Not to mention pointless. Unless he's so injured he can't kick, but if that's the case moving on shouldn't be a big thing. The Lions do need the roster spot, after the acquisition of wide receiver Denzel Mims from the Jets on Wednesday night.

The more interesting angle is the Lions are now in the market for a veteran kicker, with Romo and Patterson not too likely to assert themselves as the guy. One notable option lingers available and has declared he's ready for a team to call him, but he's not the only recognizable experienced kicker who's available.

5 biggest position battles to watch during Detroit Lions training camp. 5 biggest position battles to watch during Detroit Lions training camp. dark. Next