It’s official. Jason Elam is no longer the kicker for the Broncos. Elam agreed to a four-year contract with the Atlanta Falcons worth $9 million. As a player who played two more games with the Broncos than Elway did, it was surprising to see him walk away from a resonable offer put forth by the team. They offered him $7 million over three years, but there was no guarantee after the $2.3 million Elam would’ve made in 2008. I’m sure that played a role in his decision. His departure is also a little suprising because he is going to the Falcons. Their team was a mess last year with coach Bobby Petrino cruising over to Arkansas with three games left in the season, and the whole Michael Vick saga. It’s difficult to say this after so many clutch kicking performances, but maybe it was Elam’s time to go. There were guys that took a pay cut (John Lynch, Travis Henry, Cecil Sapp, etc.) to stay with the Broncos, and these are the guys that want to play. We can’t afford to get rid of players such as Brandon Marshall or Elvis Dumerville just so Elam can stay.
Life will go on without Jason Elam. The leading candidate for replacing him is Matt Prater. Being raised by a psychiatrist does not guarantee Elam-like success, but with his strong work ethic and humble attitude, he should make a name for himself in this league.