Matt Prater

Cardinals Re-Sign K Matt Prater

Matt Prater will return to the Cardinals for a third season, and it will be his 17th in the NFL. Arizona announced another Prater agreement Tuesday.

Going into his age-39 season, Prater has played for three teams. The former Broncos and Lions specialist has camped in Arizona for his late 30s, signing a two-year deal with the Cardinals initially in 2021. Despite Prater’s age and the organization adding a new HC-GM combo, Tuesday’s agreement is also for two years.

Prater had a down year during his final season in Detroit in 2020, connecting on only 75 percent of his field goal attempts. He’s rebounded nicely during his two years in Arizona, connecting on 83.9 percent of his field goal attempts. He was especially efficient this past year, connecting on 88 percent of his field goals, his best rate since 2015. Prater also connected on 17 of his 18 extra point attempts.

The veteran kicker did miss a handful of games this past year thanks to a midseason hip injury. This was the first time Prater missed a game since the 2014 campaign, and considering the two-year commitment, the Cardinals clearly aren’t concerned about the player’s health moving forward.

Kicker Elliott Fry was signed to a futures deal after the 2022 campaign and should provide Prater with some competition during the preseason.

Cardinals To Sign K Matt Ammendola

OCTOBER 5: The Cardinals will be promoting Ammendola to their 53-man roster soon. Kliff Kingsbury ruled out Prater for Week 5, moving Ammendola into position to kick for a second team this season. After going to training camp with the Jets, Ammendola kicked in two Chiefs games.

OCTOBER 4: Matt Ammendola has secured the chance to make a second fill-in cameo this season. After working out for the Cardinals, the young kicker is signing with the team’s practice squad, Tom Pelissero of tweets.

One of a few kickers to audition for the Cardinals on Monday, Ammendola will be in line to take over kicking duties for the NFC West team — in the event Matt Prater cannot go Sunday. Prater is battling a hip injury that prevented him from finishing the Cards’ Week 4 game.

This is quite familiar territory for Ammendola. After the Chiefs used a position player (Justin Reid) during part of their first game (in Arizona), they added Ammendola. That partnership crumbled after the former Jets kicker missed an extra point and a 34-yard field goal in the Chiefs’ Week 3 loss to the Colts. With Prater’s setback forcing the Cards to use a position player (Eno Benjamin) late in their win over the Panthers, they are calling on the second-year specialist.

Ammendola made every kick he attempted in the Chiefs’ Week 2 win over the Chargers but has otherwise struggled as a pro. The Oklahoma State product was just 13-for-19 on field goal tries — including an 0-for-3 mark on 50-plus-yarders — with the Jets last season, leading the team to sign Greg Zuerlein this offseason. Zuerlein beat out Ammendola in training camp.

Prater, 38, has been durable during his career. The 16th-year veteran’s last missed game due to injury came in 2010. He has been Arizona’s kicker for two seasons now, having signed with the Cardinals following a lengthy Lions stay.

NFC West Notes: Cards, 49ers, Van, Hawks

Following the Chiefs’ lead, the Cardinals used a position player as their emergency kicker Sunday. Backup running back Eno Benjamin logged a kickoff for the Cardinals against the Panthers on Sunday. That arrangement, similar to the Chiefs’ usage of safety Justin Reid against the Cards in Week 1, will not persist past Week 4. With Matt Prater battling a right hip injury, the Cardinals worked out multiple kickers Monday.

Rodrigo Blankenship, Matt Ammendola — the Chiefs’ first post-Reid solution to fill in for Harrison Butker — Jose Borregales and Jonathan Garibay auditioned for the Cardinals, Aaron Wilson of tweets. Blankenship, whom the Colts turned to in their first full season without Adam Vinatieri, missed much of last year with an injury and was removed from his gig after struggling in Week 1 this year. Blankenship worked out for the Jaguars last week. Ammendola lasted two games as the Chiefs’ Butker fill-in, being cut after struggling in Week 3, while Garibay was part of the Cowboys’ kicking competition. The rookie UDFA did not make it out of training camp.

Ahead of Monday’s Rams-49ers matchup, here is the latest from the NFC West:

  • Although the 49ers turned to Jaylon Moore to replace Trent Williams in Week 3, Colton McKivitz will start against the Rams on Monday night. An ankle injury prevented McKivitz from replacing Williams against the Broncos, who pounced after the All-Pro’s exit, but he was the team’s swing tackle throughout the summer. With Williams facing a four- to six-week recovery timetable, McKivitz may have the blindside gig for a bit. The 49ers let 2021 swing tackle Tom Compton sign with the Broncos, but McKivitz — who filled in for Williams in a do-or-die Week 18 tilt in Los Angeles — has been with the team since arriving as a 2020 firth-rounder.
  • The 49ers have made a few changes at the slot cornerback spot over the past several weeks. After Darqueze Dennard entered camp with the job, rookie Samuel Womack supplanted him and led to the 49ers releasing the veteran. Deommodore Lenoir has since replaced Womack, with Kyle Shanahan indicating the 2021 fifth-rounder played ahead of the 2022 fifth-rounder due to superior practice work recently, Matt Barrows of The Athletic notes (subscription required). Lenoir played 29% of San Francisco’s defensive snaps last season but likely does not have a firm grip on the job over Womack, who impressed during training camp, just yet.
  • Staying on the subject of 49ers corners, Shanahan expressed optimism Jason Verrett would practice this week. Verrett’s practice window opens ahead of Week 5, with the 49ers carrying the injury-prone vet on their reserve/PUP list. Should Verrett prove recovered from his September 2021 ACL tear, Barrows notes a starting job should not be ruled out. Verrett played well as a 49ers starter in 2020, showing form that enticed the team to re-sign him in 2021 and this year. Emmanuel Moseley‘s past in the slot could allow for a transition, forming a Verrett-Mosley-Charvarius Ward trio, if Verrett is healthy.
  • Sean McVay did not seem to expect Van Jefferson to miss a third of the season, but that will happen. The Rams placed Jefferson on IR ahead of their Week 3 game, but McVay is adamant the third-year wideout did not suffer a setback upon returning from arthroscopic knee surgery, Sarah Barshop of tweets. Jefferson’s IR move was more about roster construction, and The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue adds (via Twitter) the Rams expect their WR3 to be back when first eligible in Week 8 (following the team’s Week 7 bye).
  • Seahawks cornerback Tre Brown will not be ready to return when first eligible to come off the team’s PUP list. Pete Carroll confirmed the third-year corner remains a few weeks away, via’s Brady Henderson (on Twitter). Brown missed last season’s first five games and was down for their final seven, with a Nov. 21 knee injury leading to the latter hiatus. Seattle’s cornerback room has changed considerably since Brown last played; it will be interesting to see what role the 2021 fourth-rounder will play upon returning.

Cardinals Sign K Matt Prater

The Cardinals have made an upgrade at kicker. They signed the specialist who holds the record for the NFL’s longest field goal, agreeing to terms with former Broncos and Lions kicker Matt Prater.

Prater spent the past seven seasons in Detroit. He will migrate to the desert for his age-37 season. Prater will replace Zane Gonzalez, whose struggles down the stretch contributed to the Cardinals slinking out of the 2020 playoff race.

Prater’s deal is worth $7MM over two years, Ian Rapoport of tweets. He will rejoin former Broncos special teams coordinator Jeff Rodgers with the Cardinals.

He of a 64-yard field goal during his final Broncos season (2013), Prater continued his long-range mastery in Detroit. He connected on a 59-yard game-winner last season and was successful from at least 58 yards in three other Lions seasons. Prater made just 21 of 28 field goals last season but has two Pro Bowls on his resume.

The Cardinals cut Gonzalez last week. While his six misses (16 of 22) were fewer than Prater’s misfire count, Gonzalez missed some key kicks in Cards losses. Most notably, his 49-yarder that fell short of the goal posts led to the Cards losing to the Dolphins in a late-season shootout. GM Steve Keim moved swiftly to address the deficiency.

NFC Notes: Reed, Redskins, Lions, 49ers

Just days after Terrelle Pryor was placed on season-ending injured reserve, the Redskins’ pass catchers received another blow on Wednesday. The team’s star tight end Jordan Reed was ruled out for the team’s Thanksgiving tilt with the Giants, according to Kimberly Martin of the Washington Post (Twitter link).

The oft-injured Reed, who was labeled as questionable by head coach Jay Gruden an hour before the announcement, will miss his sixth game of the year. Reed also missed four games in 2016 and two during his breakout 2015 season.

There are few better tight ends than Reed when he is on the field. Of the 11 players at his position to record 250 receptions since 2013, he is the only one to average at least five receptions per game. The team will once again turn to Vernon Davis in the division clash on Thursday night.

Here’s more from around the NFC:

  • Though the 49ers will start C.J. Beathard again on Sunday, team general manager John Lynch is convinced Jimmy Garoppolo is going to be the team’s future starting quarterback writes Cam Inman of The Mercury News“We really, genuinely believe that this guy’s got the makings of a guy who could be our guy for years to come,” Lynch said. “That’s all got to come to fruition on the field.” 
  • Staying with San Francisco, Lynch also believes defensive end Arik Armstead has a bright future with the team despite missing 18 of 32 career games with an injury, according to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee“We think he’s a fit with what we are and who we are going forward,” Lynch said. Though he is a fit, Armstead will need to find a way to stay on the field to stay in the 49ers’ plans.
  • Matt Prater has been the Lions’ most valuable free agent signing in the last five seasons, writes ESPN’s Michael Rothstein. Though he has stiff competition from Golden Tate and Glover Quin, the veteran kicker is without a doubt in the mix for the honor.

NFC Notes: Redskins, Cowboys, Eagles

The Redskins placed linebacker Mason Foster on the injured reserve yesterday, and the veteran certainly isn’t happy with the move. In a series of tweets earlier this morning, Foster noted that he had been “done dirty” by the organization.

“All I know is [former GM] Scot [McCloughan] wouldn’t have done me like that,” Foster wrote (via Michael David Smith of “I have played 3 weeks with a completely torn labrum. Lay everything on the line for someone just to have that same person slap you in the face. Business is business tho right. They don’t care about us.”

As the writer notes, Foster is set to be a free agent following the season, and it sounds like the veteran could be looking for a new home. In five games this season, the former third-rounder compiled 31 tackles. 0.5 sacks, and one interception.

Let’s take a look at some more notes from around the NFC…

  • The Cowboys promoted tight end Blake Jarwin from the practice squad earlier this week.’s Todd Archer writes that part of the organization’s motivation for making the move had to do with the interest Jarwin was garnering from around the NFL, particularly from the Eagles.
  • The Eagles may be in the hunt for some offensive line help, but Eliot Shorr-Parks of warns (via Twitter) that the team might not want to acquire an expensive player. After all, the writer believes the team is focused on rolling their current cap space over to the offseason, and trading for a pricey lineman could compromise that future financial flexibility.
  • Dan Bailey may be out for a while. Cowboys Director of Player Personnel Stephen Jones told Clarence Hill Jr. of the Star-Telegram that the veteran kicker is expected to miss at least four games (Twitter link). The 29-year-old was perfect on field goal and extra point attempts this season.
  • Speaking of kickers, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press has details on Matt Prater‘s three-year extension with the Lions. The deal includes a $3.6MM signing bonus and $5MM in guaranteed money, raising his 2017 cap hit to $5.225MM. The contract hits a $2.7MM base salary in 2020.

Lions To Sign Matt Prater To Extension

The Lions and kicker Matt Prater have agreed to terms on a new deal. It’s a three-year deal worth $11.4MM, according to Ian Rapoport of (Twitter links). Factoring in the bonuses, Prater’s deal can reach a maximum value of $12.15MM. The deal, which could keep Prater in Detroit through the 2020 season, also includes a $3.6MM signing bonus. Matt Prater (vertical)

Prater was cut by the Broncos in 2014 right after he served a four-game ban for violating the substance abuse policy. The Lions were happy to give Prater a second chance at that point since neither Nate Freese nor Alex Henery could hit the broad side of a barn that year. It proved to be a worthwhile gamble for Detroit as Prater has avoided trouble and sank 85.7% of his field goal tries.

Prater has made a name for himself with long distance kicks and, as Kyle Meinke of notes, he is responsible for the four longest field goals in Lions franchise history, with the top one coming from 59 yards out. He’s also tied for the fifth-longest FG in Detroit with a 56-yarder (Jason Hanson, the previous record-holder with the Lions, has connected from that distance twice). All in all, Prater has made field goals from 50 yards or more 19 times since joining the Lions.

The 33-year-old kicker will celebrate his 36th birthday before the final year of his new contract. Prater has shown no real signs of slowing down, so he could still be booming those long-range kicks for the Lions at that point.

Lions Exercise Matt Prater’s 2017 Option

The Lions exercised their 2017 contract option on kicker Matt Prater earlier this spring, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press tweets. However, the decision didn’t change much for the veteran (Twitter link). Prater received his $750K as a bonus this year instead of base salary and his contract for 2017 is non-guaranteed. So, despite triggering Prater’s option, the Lions could part ways with him without penalty, if they so choose. Matt Prater (vertical)

[RELATED: Lions Work Out Jimmy Clausen]

Prater, 32 in August, re-signed with the Lions on a two-year, $4.55MM deal which included a third-year team option. With the third year factored in, the overall value of the pact is believed to be roughly $9MM.

Prater began the 2014 season by serving a four-game suspension in Denver for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, and was ultimately cut by the Broncos, ending a seven-year tenure with the club. After signing with the Lions, Prater was a little shaky in his first few games, but settled down and ended up making 21 of 26 field goal attempts. In 2015, Prater sank 22 of his 24 field goal attempts while connecting on 36 of 39 extra point tries.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Contract Details: Maxwell, Murray, McPhee

Here are some key details on some of the notable contracts agreed to or signed around the NFL this week:

NFC deals:

  • Byron Maxwell, CB (Eagles): Six years, $63MM base value. $25MM fully guaranteed. $6MM signing bonus (Twitter links via Tom Pelissero of USA Today and Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun).
  • DeMarco Murray, RB (Eagles): Five years, $40MM base value. $42MM max value. $18MM fully guaranteed (Twitter link via Albert Breer of the NFL Network).
  • Pernell McPhee, OLB (Bears): Five years, $38.75MM base value. $8.675MM fully guaranteed (Twitter link via Pelissero).
  • Antrel Rolle, S (Bears): Three years, $11.25MM base value. $4.9MM guaranteed. $3.9MM roster bonus in 2015 (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Tom Johnson, DT (Vikings): Three years, $7MM base value. $2.75MM guaranteed. $1.5MM roster bonus in 2015 (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Matt Prater, K (Lions): Two years, $4.55MM base value. Third-year team option for 2017 (Twitter link via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press).

AFC deals:

Matt Prater, Lions Agree To Three-Year Deal

After running through a gauntlet of inconsistent kickers early in the 2014 season, the Lions settled on veteran Matt Prater, and now the team is prepared to roll with Prater for 2015 and beyond. According to Mike Klis of the Denver Post, the two sides have agreed to terms on a three-year contract. Ian Rapoport of reports (via Twitter) that Prater’s three-year deal will be worth $9MM.

“I am thankful for this opportunity and excited to come back to Detroit,” Prater said in a statement, via a team release confirming the agreement. “I hope to do my part to help this team win. … I am also looking forward to returning and working with both Sam [Martin] and Mule (Don Muhlbach). We had to adjust quickly to each other in the middle of the season, and this off-season will be valuable in our preparation for the coming year.”

Prater, 30, began the 2014 season by serving a four-game suspension in Denver for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, and was ultimately cut by the Broncos, ending a seven-year tenure with the club. After signing with the Lions, Prater was a little shaky in his first few games, but settled down and ended up making 21 of 26 field goal attempts. In 2013, he was a Pro Bowler, making all but one of 26 field goal attempts for the Broncos.