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Michael Badgley’s contact details reveal Lions could still be searching for kicker

The Detroit Lions re-signed their 2022 kicker Michael Badgley, but his contracts suggests there will be competition.

Detroit Lions vs Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Amy Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images

On Friday, Michael Badgley’s agent announced that the kicker had re-signed with the Detroit Lions for the 2023 season. On Sunday, the terms surrounding that deal were released and they suggest that he may face competition for his role.

Let’s look at the contract.

Michael Badgley, 1 year, $1,232,500 ($350,000 guaranteed)

(Terms via Aaron Wilson, chart created by Erik Schlitt)

A one-year deal is typical and expected, while the money—base salary and prorated bonus—are veteran minimums with a slight bump in guaranteed base salary. The guaranteed money is enough to convince Badgley he is wanted and will be given a shot to win a job, but also not significant enough that if he loses a kicking battle that it will be too impactful to the Lions' salary cap.

Badgley was efficient in 2022, only missing four field goals on the season—he was 24 of 28 including his time with the Bears—and successfully made all 33 of his extra point attempts. He is consistent from short distances but when asked to attempt kicks from beyond 50 yards, the consistency wavers a bit—he is 6 of 14 over his career.

Hitting from distance doesn’t appear to be a requirement with this coaching staff— especially with how frequently they go for it on fourth down—but it can also be a valuable weapon if you can find a kicker who can consistently do it.

There were six kickers invited to the NFL Combine this year, and their kicking history illustrates how challenging it can be to be successful beyond 50 yards:

  • Jake Moody, Michigan: 4 of 10 on career attempts over 50 yards
  • Chad Ryland, Maryland: 9 of 15
  • Anders Carlson, Auburn: 5 of 17
  • Jack Podlesny, Georgia: 4 of 7
  • B.T. Potter, Clemson: 9 of 13
  • Christopher Dunn: NC State: 4 of 10

This kicker class had plenty of talent that goes beyond the pure stats—for example, Moody’s career-long 59 yarder in the college football playoff was a thing of beauty—so even if the Lions don’t opt to select one in the draft, it seems very likely that they will go after one of the undrafted kickers on the market.