When John Elway paid a kicker, namely Matt Prater, a 4-year contract, worth $13M, I was sticker shocked. My thought process was that in the thin air of the Mile High City, almost any serviceable kicker would be highly effective.
So why pay a kicker an average annual salary of $3.25M? Most kickers make right close to the veteran minimum, afterall.
Is Matt Prater really worth that type of money? I submit to you no, he isn’t. Especially when you factor in his DUI and subsequent placement in the NFL’s Substance Abuse Program and now his 4 game suspension.
2011 was a year that made Prater a lot of money. How many times did he bail Tim Tebow and the rest of the team out with a game-winning kick? Legion.
I could see why Elway would want to offer Prater an extension. He showcased clutch skills and “you know whats” that clank.
But on a team with Peyton Manning at quarterback, a team who scored 606 points last season, do you really need to pay a troubled kicker that kind of money?
No. You don’t.
Which is why I think the Broncos should strongly consider releasing Matt Prater and his baggage. It would produce collateral benefits.
It could end up producing more points, not having a kicker with such a big leg. Touchdown > field goals, right?
Such as, maybe John Fox would go for it more on 4th down? Maybe the Broncos wouldn’t try so many 50+ yard field goal attempts, and just choose to go for it.
Brandon McManus is waiting in the wings. Keep his field goal attempts to within 40 yards. Or go sign a veteran off the street who could service the team in the same way.
With the Sheriff at QB, I’d be 100% cool with that. I know I’m going to take some heat for this piece, but really, I feel that Matt Prater isn’t worth the money.
And he sure isn’t worth it now that he’s been disciplined by the Ginger Hammer, even if it was for only tossing back a few cold ones in the privacy and sanctity of his own home.
He knew the rules. He broke them. Show him the door.