Steve Keim is not done yet. After signing A.J. Green and trading for Rodney Hudson earlier in the day, the Arizona Cardinals GM addressed another position by adding former Lions kicker Matt Prater.
According to John Gambodoro of 98.7 Arizona Sports, the contract is a two-year deal with an average of $3.25 million per year.
Interestingly, this is the fourth large free agent signing for the Arizona Cardinals of a player over the age of 30. Matt Prater will be 36 at the start of the season.
Some of us probably still know him as the kicker with the record for longest field goal in NFL history, a 64-yarder in 2013. Known for his strong leg, Prater has his worst year as a pro in 2020 making 21 of 28 field goals. Granted, a part of his struggles might be that ten of those attempts were of 50+ yards. On his 11 attempts between 20-39 yards he was a solid 100%.
PFF.com gave Prater a middle-of-the-road score of 64.2 for 2020, but his long history of solid kicking should give Arizona Cardinals fans some comfort. It was clear after the season that Zane Gonzalez would more than likely receive some kicking competition after missing critical field goals that arguably cost the Cardinals a playoff berth in 2020.
With the addition of Matt Prater it seems all but certain that Gonzalez is no longer the kicker for the Arizona Cardinals and will be looking elsewhere for work in 2021.
Prater will be rejoining his old special teams coach in Arizona, Jeff Rodgers. He will be looking to make a comeback in Arizona and although he is already up there in age kickers can remain productive years beyond your average NFL player, just ask Adam Vinatieri.
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