Mike Nolan: NFL teams are breaking the rules contacting Jake Bates

After kicking field goals of 64, 52 and 62 yards in two UFL games, Jake Bates is going to get his shot in the NFL soon. But Michigan Panthers coach Mike Nolan wants NFL teams to hit the brakes on Bates' future for now.

Without naming the NFL teams, Nolan accuses some of them of having illegal contact with Bates or his agent.

"Outsiders don’t touch our players too much during the season," Nolan said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. "With Jake, somehow some of them are trying to make efforts to do that, to be honest with you, and hopefully that backs off a little bit because that’s not. . . . They’re not supposed to do that. And maybe that’s rumor, but I had heard something the other day and I kind of said, 'Well, let’s make sure we nip that in the bud,' because, look, I want Jake to do well and I want him to get a chance. I’d love to see him in the NFL and no one right now can do him any good, so the best thing I can do is keep those people away from him currently, because I’m not helping Jake if I don’t do that."

Nolan clarified that it's both teams and agents contacting Bates.

"Again, I’m just getting — it’s one of those things, I have to consider the source sometimes," Nolan said.

An NFL spokesman clarified to Birkett that NFL teams can contact UFL teams about their players. But NFL teams are not allowed to contact players under contract with the UFL or to discuss that player with their agent.

UFL players cannot sign with an NFL team until the UFL season ends.

"It’s not like an NFL team can take them today, so if they’re getting entertained, it’s all for later on," Nolan said. "But the big thing is for them to stay focused and in my eyes. I treat them kind of like they’re my own kids. I tell them, I say, 'Look, there’s nothing much that anyone can do for you right now on the outside, so if you don’t have an agent you don’t need to go get one currently, and you certainly don’t need to go out and be entertained currently. You need to continue to kick well because this can all go away very fast if things change for you. So keep your focus,' and that’s the same for all of them."

Bates, a kickoff specialist in college, went to training camp with the Texans a year ago. He kicked in only one preseason game, though, before incumbent Ka'imi Fairbairn kept the job.

Bates will go into some team's training camp this summer as the favorite for the job.