August 17, 2014; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Denver Broncos kicker Matt Prater (5) kicks out of the hold by punter Britton Colquitt (4) against the San Francisco 49ers during the second quarter at Levi
It didn’t take long for former Denver Broncos kicker Matt Prater to find work. Just four days after being cut by the Broncos, Prater worked out for and was signed to a one-year contract by the Detroit Lions.
Prater is the Lions’ third kicker of the season already and is walking into a really good situation for his career. Unfortunately for Prater, the Lions didn’t offer more long term stability, but he’s now got a job kicking for one of the most explosive offenses in football and playing home games at an indoor stadium that will be favorable to his skills.
The NFL’s most accurate kicker ever from 50 yards and beyond, Prater had established himself as arguably the best kicker in the league last season, missing only one field goal and nailing an NFL-record 64 yard kick against the Tennessee Titans.
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Prater’s struggles with alcohol in the NFL are well documented, and at this point there’s no reason to beat that dead horse, but it was likely a major reason why the Broncos felt they needed to cut him. Prater was a possible liability with one screw up leading to a year-long suspension. The Broncos also saved a pretty nice chunk of change by releasing Prater, nearly $4 million on the cap next year.
It was a tough roster move for a lot of fans to come to grips with, but at least moving to Detroit will allow Broncos fans to continue to root for Prater. He looked really rough in the preseason, and had missed some kicks in the preseason that had people wondering if something was up. A fresh start in Detroit could be just what the doctor ordered for Prater, who has vowed to clean up his image off the field.