Lions ‘Making Calls’ to Trade for Key Specialist: Insider

The Detroit Lions have just one week before their season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs, but could still have one key change to make to their roster.

The Lions named Riley Patterson as the winner of their kicking competition, but a report claims that his position is subject to change as the team is still actively looking for another kicker. Patterson beat out XFL standout Parker Romo to earn a spot on Detroit’s active roster, but struggled in the preseason and may not hold onto the job for long.

Riley Patterson on Shaky Ground

Dianna Russini of The Athletic reported on August 29, hours before the roster deadline, that the Lions were among several teams still looking for a kicker and potentially going to the trade market to do so.

“The kicker market is busy! Teams currently making calls around the league looking for opportunities to trade for kickers: Rams, Lions, Titans, 49ers, and Broncos,” Russini tweeted.

As’s Christian Booher wrote after the Lions finalized their roster on Tuesday, Patterson left a lot to be desired through his preseason performances.

“Patterson had a rough preseason finale, however; the third-year kicker came up short on a 53-yard field goal attempt and also shanked an extra point,” Booher wrote. “He sorely lacks reliable range, making just three of his eight career attempts beyond 48 yards in his two seasons split between Detroit (2021) and Jacksonville (2022).”

The Lions may have to move fast if they want to connect with an available kicker. The Los Angeles Charters already traded kicker Dustin Hopkins to the Cleveland Browns, taking one candidate off the market.

Familiar Face Returns to Detroit

If the Lions are unable to find a new kicker on the trade market, they may be able to call on a familiar face. Michael Badgley, who took over the kicking job for the Lions midway through last season, returned to sign with the practice squad after being released just before the start of training camp.

Lions head coach Dan Campbell said at the time that it was difficult to part ways with Badgley, but the team was ready to move forward with its new kicking candidates.

“That was tough,” Campbell said, via the Detroit News. “I have a lot respect for Badge, but you know, we wanted to give another look at (Riley) Patterson. We feel like they’re very similar-type players, Badgley and Patterson. We’ll get a look at Patterson. We like (Parker) Romo. He’s kind of the wild card. He has the big leg. There’s a level of development to him that needs to take place and so we just felt like between those two guys, let’s get a look at them and let them compete against each other. That’s why we did what we did.”

The #Lions are signing K Michael Badgley to their practice squad, per @davebirkett. Badgley was 24/28 on FGs and 33/33 on XPs last season with Detroit.

He joins Riley Patterson, who is currently on the active roster.

— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) August 30, 2023

Badgley also started the 2022 season on Detroit’s practice squad but was later elevated to the active roster. He finished the season going 24-for-28 on field goal attempts and made all 33 extra point attempts, earning Special Teams Player of the Week in Week 13 after making all four field goal attempts in a win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

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