Dolphins should sign this stud UFL kicker to add needed competition

The Dolphins have Jason Sanders, but Jake Bates may be who they need
Arlington Renegades v Michigan Panthers
Arlington Renegades v Michigan Panthers / Nic Antaya/UFL/GettyImages

The Miami Dolphins are comfortable with Jason Sanders handling the kicker duties, but Jake Bates should be catching Chris Grier's eye.

Jake Bates is turning heads in the UFL and continues to make distance kicks each game. Already impressive, he has two over 60 yards, including a 64-yard field goal, a 62-yarder, 55, and 52. He is consistent and reliable when traveling long distances. So, should the Miami Dolphins make a call?

Jason Sanders is under contract until 2027. The Dolphins can void that year if they choose to. In 2024, Sanders will count $4.5 million in cap space and $2.1 million in dead money if they release him. Miami would, however, save $2.3 million. In 2025, he remains more than a $4 million cap hit, but the dead money drops.

Should the Dolphins target kicker Jake Bates this offseason?

Sanders had a much better season last year than in recent years. In his rookie year, he had a 90 percent success rate. In Year 2, that rate dropped to 76.7 percent. He rebounded in his third year and had the best statistical season of his career with 92 percent conversions, which led to a contract extension.

Since that extension, Sanders has not put up more than 85.7 percent, and that came last season. It is hardly a stat that makes Dolphins fans confident in his consistency. In his career, the longest field goal he has made was from 57 yards, and that came in 2023.

Should the Dolphins consider kicking the tires, pun intended, on Bates? They should absolutely consider it, at least to give Sanders competition. In his short career with the UFL's Panthers, he has only attempted nine field goals. He has made seven of them, and four of them have people tallying.

In his career at the college level, the former Texas State and Arkansas kicker did not register attempts, and he didn't make any attempts in his one partial stint with the Texans in the NFL. Sanders could use some field goal competition, and the Dolphins should give the young kicker some looks this offseason. It wouldn't hurt, and many teams add competition to training camp, even for kickers.

I'm not saying that Sanders should be replaced, but I do think competition is important. If Bates continues to make big kicks, the Dolphins wouldn't be out of their heads to see what he can do for them in camp.