Grading the Cardinals six biggest roster acquisitions in 2021

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) J.J. Watt
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) J.J. Watt /
4 of 7
Arizona Cardinals
(Photo by Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Prater /

Matt Prater – K

I stated back in March that Matt Prater was not an upgrade over his predecessor, Zane Gonzalez. And the aging kicker had a few tough outings. However, it’s hard to fault him for the Week 16 meltdown against the Colts when he was forced to kick without his normal holder.

Take out the stagnant performance against the Colts, and Prater finishes the season 29-for-34, with an 85 percent conversion rate. Not great, but not bad. Still, he finished 30-for-37 and converted 81 percent of his kicks. In today’s game, you want to see more production from your kicker.

Should Prater Stay?

This one’s a gray area. Part of me wants him back in the desert. However, if the Cardinals can find a viable replacement, they should. Prater will be 37 when the 2022 season rolls around and he didn’t light up the league. Keep him around unless the Cardinals sign someone who would be a surefire upgrade.

2021 Grade: C

Prater improved upon a pedestrian 2020 season. However, he’s still not the Mr. Automatic he once was. The Cardinals will make him work to keep the kicking job.