Packers face competition from Lions to sign perfect Anders Carlson replacement

Green Bay Packers kicker Anders Carlson
Green Bay Packers kicker Anders Carlson / Mark Hoffman / Milwaukee Journal

The Green Bay Packers aren't leaving any stone unturned regarding their kicking competition.

There is currently a three-way battle between Anders Carlson, Greg Joseph, and Jack Podlesny. Carlson appears to have a slight advantage after a good performance during OTAs, and it helps that the Packers drafted him a year ago. However, Carlson is still a long way from retaining the job ahead of the other kickers on the roster.

And the competition may become even more challenging by the time training camp begins on July 22.

Last month, special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia hinted at the possibility of adding another kicker. It could soon become a reality.

Packers reportedly interested in UFL star Jake Bates

According to Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2 Houston, the Packers are among four teams who have requested to host UFL kicker Jake Bates. One of those teams is the Detroit Lions.

Bates is coming off an outstanding season for the Michigan Panthers, earning All-UFL Team honors. He was a first-team All-SEC as a kickoff specialist for Arkansas, but he didn't kick field goals in college. It makes his numbers in the UFL all the more impressive.

Finishing the season 17 of 22 on field goals might not stand out, but Bates made a habit of converting kicks of over 60 yards, and he made it look easy. Bates only missed one kick within 50 yards and hit six of 10 beyond that distance, including three from over 60 yards.

He showed he can hit game-winners. Yes, it's the UFL, and the pressure increases dramatically in the NFL, but it was impressive nonetheless. Bringing Bates in for training camp would make a lot of sense.

Here's the concern: The Lions are among the teams interested, and Bates has an obvious connection. The Michigan Panthers play at Ford Field, home of the Lions. The opportunity to kick indoors in a familiar venue could appeal to Bates more than the unpredictable Lambeau Field conditions.

Bates would have a real opportunity to win the kicking job in Green Bay and would provide tough competition for Carlson. It's not surprising the Packers have interest. Hopefully, they can get a deal over the line.

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