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Report: Detroit Lions are releasing K Michael Badgley

The Detroit Lions made a surprising move by cutting Michael Badgley to make room for Denzel Mims, but there could be a good explanation for it.

Detroit Lions vs Chicago Bears Photo by Amy Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images

After the Detroit Lions reportedly agreed to terms with the New York Jets to trade for Denzel Mims, they needed to create a roster spot. On Thursday, they did just that. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the Lions are releasing kicker Michael Badgley.

On the surface, this is a pretty surprising move. Badgley was Detroit’s starting kicker for most of the 2022 season and did an admirable job. He made all 33 of his extra points and went a respectable 20-of-24 on his field goals. The Lions brought in more competition with Parker Romo and Riley Patterson, but both of those kickers were inconsistent during OTAs and minicamp.

So what gives?

There are two potential explanations here. One, Badgley could be dealing with an injury. He was not kicking at all during OTAs and minicamp, and we never heard exactly why.

The other explanation is a little more complicated. Badgley is a vested veteran, which means he has at least four years of experience in the NFL. When cut, vested veterans are not subject to waivers. They become free agents immediately. If you’re not a veteran—Romo and Patterson are not—then you hit waivers, which means another team can claim you before becoming a true free agent.

In other words, it’s entirely possible the Lions are creating a temporary roster spot for Mims, knowing they’ll be able to bring Badgley back once another roster spot opens up.

That, though, is only a theory. We’ll see what happens in KICKERWATCH2023 as we get close to the opening of training camp.

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