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Former Michigan football player James Turner lands with the Packers after being released by the Lions
Former Michigan football player James Turner lands with the Packers after being released by the Lions

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Jake Bates’ win is also James Turner’s win.

After the Detroit Lions signed Bates, the star of the UFL’s Michigan Panthers, this spring, they placed Turner, the Saline native who won a national championship with Michigan football last season, on the waivers list.

Turner was then signed by the Green Bay Packers on Monday, the team announced.

Turner, who was selected to the All-Big Ten second team for the Wolverines last season, converted 85.7% of his field goal attempts (18 of 21) and 98.5% of his extra point attempts.

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Before transferring to Michigan, Turner spent four seasons at Louisville. With the Cardinals, he converted 79.7% (47 of 59) of his field goal attempts and 98.4% (124 of 126) of his extra point attempts, earning him a third-team All-ACC nomination in 2022.

Turner was signed by the Lions as an undrafted free agent and competed with Michael Badgely in minicamp before the Lions acquired Bates, who made three of his five 60-yard throws this spring with the Panthers. Turner showed a strong and accurate leg for the Lions, but lacked the necessary finesse on kickoffs.

The Packers relied on Anders Carlson as their kicker last season; the 2023 sixth-round pick (from Auburn) made 27 of 33 field goal attempts, but only seven of 13 from 40 yards or more. He also missed five of his 39 extra point attempts.

Contact Ryan Ford at [email protected]. Follow him on X (that used to be Twitter, you know?) @theford.

By Isla