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Ravens Request Visit With Suprising UFL Star

Michigan Panthers kicker Jake Bates was one of the biggest names from the UFL, and the Baltimore Ravens want to see what he can do.
Jake Bates UFL

UFL breakout kicker Jake Bates is gaining interest from NFL teams across the league. This isn’t too surprising, as good kickers are hard to find and Bates proved that he has one of the strongest legs in professional football. Bates made 17 of his 22 field goal attempts in the UFL’s inaugural season but made a name for himself with his long range. The one-time Texan connected on three separate 60-yard field goals, including a 64-yarder that might have been good from 70. By comparison, Baltimore’s Justin Tucker currently owns the NFL record with a 66-yard field goal.

With the UFL season soon coming to a close, Jake Bates will start visiting NFL teams. According to reports across the league, the Washington Commanders, Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions, and Baltimore Ravens have requested a visit with the spring football superstar. Washington, Green Bay, and Detroit make sense, but why would the Ravens look at a kicker when they already have an elite one in Justin Tucker?

Ravens Request Free Agent Visit With UFL Star Jake Bakes

This one has to be filed under due diligence. One could argue Justin Tucker started to slow down last year in his age-34 season, but he remains one of the best kickers in the game. While the former undrafted free agent used to be the best kicker in the league by a wide margin, he struggled with longer kicks last year. According to Pro Football Reference, the five-time All-Pro connected on just one of his five 50+ yard attempts. That’s not a good ratio, and it’s especially poor for a player who set the record for the NFL’s longest field goal just two seasons ago.

Chances are, Jakes Bates will use his UFL success to sign with a team with a bigger need at kicker. However, if he makes his way to the Ravens, don’t be surprised if the team keeps him on the practice squad. Head coach John Harbaugh used to be a special teams coach and he knows the value of a good kicker. If he believes age is starting to catch up with Tucker, don’t be surprised if he’s already looking for Baltimore’s next great kicker.

Main Photo: Dave Reginek – USA Today Sports


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