On Wednesday, the Detroit Lions wisely signed kicker Matt Prater to a 3-year contract extension keeping him in the Motor City through 2020.
Kickers are people too. That a popular phrase that attempts to justify a kicker’s presence on a NFL roster full of world class athletes. But the truth is, having a consistent one on your team is a must. And if you ever find yourself with an inconsistent kicker, he can easily kill your season.
The Detroit Lions realize the importance of having a quality kicker on their roster. In fact, the Motor City has benefited from having one of the best on the field, Matt Prater. And on Wednesday, they rewarded the 11-year veteran with a contract extension.
The Lions locked up Prater through 2020, signing him to a three-year, $11.4 million extension. That deal also included a $3.6 million signing bonus. He can make up to $12.15 million, presumably in incentives.
The 33-year old Prater is considered one of the most powerful kickers in the NFL. He’s nailed 40 of 51 field goals beyond the 50-yard line. This season, Prater has cranked the second longest field goal of the year at 58 yards. His career long is 64 yards.
Prater was originally signed by the Lions as an undrafted free agent out of UCF back in 2006. But he was unable to best kicker Jason Hanson at the time and released post the preseason. After bouncing around the league a bit, Prater finally landed a starting gig with the Denver Broncos. He would spend eight years in the Mile High City before returning to Detroit in 2014.
At times, Matt Prater has been the Detroit Lions’ most consistent offensive weapon. And his ability to strike from distance shortens the field for Detroit’s offense when it comes to putting points on the board. Prater currently ranks 23rd all time in the NFL with an 83.088% field goal percentage.