Commanders Assign UFL Kickers Jake Bates and Andre Szmyt to Work Out

The Commanders have been forced to cut ties with their current kicker, Brandon McManus, leaving them in search of a replacement. Two UFL kickers, Jake Bates from the Michigan Panthers and Andre Szmyt from the St. Louis Battlehawks, are being considered as potential candidates for the job.

Bates had an impressive 2024 season, hitting three field goals of 60 yards or more, including a 64-yarder. However, his head coach Mike Nolan expressed concerns about teams contacting Bates in violation of league rules during the season.

On the other hand, McManus was released by the Commanders just nine days after facing a lawsuit for sexual assault by a pair of flight attendants. Bates had a brief tenure with the Texans during training camp in 2023 while Szmyt spent time with the Bears last year. Szmyt has an impressive college football record and won the Lou Groza award for best kicker in 2018 as a freshman.

As the Commanders prepare for their upcoming workout sessions, they will likely pay close attention to the performance of both Bates and Szmyt to determine who will be filling McManus’s shoes.

By Sophia Gonzalez

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