The Detroit Lions announced on Tuesday afternoon that they’ve signed kicker Aldrick Rosas to a futures deal. As a reminder, a futures contract work like any other NFL contract, except they don’t count against the cap until the start of the new year; they’re given to players who finish the 2021 regular season either on the practice squad or unsigned, and typically are worth around the league minimum. Specific details on Rosas’ contract were not immediately available.
Rosas was signed to the Lions’ practice squad in mid-November after Ryan Santoso missed two kicks against the Pittsburgh Steelers, including a potential game-winner in overtime. At the time, the Lions also signed former Patriots rookie kicker Riley Patterson to the active roster.
Rosas got the initial start as Santoso’s replacement—remember, Detroit’s other starting kicker, Austin Seibert, was lost for the season with a hip injury. Against the Cleveland Browns, Rosas made both of his kicks: a 44-yard field goal and an extra point.
However, for the rest of the season, the Lions went with the rookie Patterson. He would go on to make 13-of-14 field goals and all 16 extra points.
It looks like the Lions will take this kicker competition into the offseason. Patterson is an exclusive right free agent, which essentially means he’s nearly guaranteed to come back on a salary minimum contract. And while he was nearly perfect last year, he did not make a kick longer than 50 yards.
And let’s not forget about Seibert, who remains under contract for 2022. Seibert was a respectable 10-of-12 on field goals (long of 52) before the hip injury that ended his season. At this point, it looks like Detroit is headed for a three-way kicker competition next year.