Jake Bates contract details show Detroit Lions kicker isn’t a roster lock

The Detroit Lions’ recent signing of Jake Bates to a two-year, $1.98 million contract has stirred up speculation about his role as the team’s kicker moving forward. Despite the contract’s duration, which spans until 2025, the real indicator of commitment lies in the financial guarantees rather than the length itself.

According to Aaron Wilson of Click2Houston.com, Bates’ deal includes a modest $100,000 signing bonus and a total of $150,000 guaranteed. His base salaries are structured at $795,000 for 2024, with $50,000 guaranteed, and $960,000 for 2025. This sets the annual average of the contract at approximately $990,000.


In comparison, undrafted free-agent James Turner averages $944,166 over three years, while veteran Michael Badgley holds a higher guaranteed amount at $425,000, as per Over the Cap.

These figures underscore that Bates faces a competitive battle to secure a roster spot, despite the contract length. With minimal guaranteed money, the Lions retain flexibility to make roster decisions based on performance. As Bates joins the fray alongside Turner and Badgley, it’s evident that the upcoming preseason will be pivotal, determining who emerges as the Lions’ top kicker for the upcoming season.