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Broncos kicker Matt Prater might be candidate for franchise tag

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  • Broncos kicker Matt Prater might be candidate for franchise tag

    Not since the 2002 season have the Broncos used the franchise tag. Place-kicker Jason Elam received a $1.24 million salary that year.

    Ten years later, it wouldn't be surprising if the Broncos again tag a kicker. Among the Broncos' whopping 17 unrestricted free agents this offseason, Matt Prater is the strongest candidate for the franchise tag.

    The projected salary for a franchised kicker this year is less than $2.6 million — down 19 percent from $3.176 million in 2011.

    Make no mistake: This will be the offseason when many players come to realize the owners won last year's labor battle.

    The Broncos are waiting for newly hired Mike Sullivan to start his job later this week as the team's salary cap and contract specialist before they start negotiating with their free agents. The free-agent market opens March 13 — or about two weeks later than usual.

    On the surface, a franchise tag would seem to benefit a player because it guarantees the average of the top-five salaries at his position.

    But franchise tags are only one-year deals, and their values have been recalculated under the new collective bargaining agreement so that every position's salary is projected to be drastically slashed this year.

    The salary cuts from 2011 franchise values are projected to range from 10.6 percent (quarterbacks) to 36.8 percent (defensive tackles).

    Prater said near season's end that after five seasons of kicking on year-to-year deals, he was hoping free agency would bring him the security of a long-term contract. And just because a player is franchised doesn't mean it can't be used as leverage to eventually negotiate a long-term deal.

    Prater drew a $1.835 million salary as a restricted free agent in 2011, when he had four walkoff field goals for wins, including successful overtime kicks of 52 yards at Miami and 51 yards against the Chicago Bears.

    He also had a game-tying 59-yarder with three seconds remaining in

    regulation to send the game into overtime against the Bears. And Prater had the NFL's best kickoff touchback rate: 68.1 percent.
    The Broncos' other 16 unrestricted free agents are defensive tackles Brodrick Bunkley and Marcus Thomas; defensive ends Jason Hunter and Derrick Harvey; linebackers Joe Mays, Mario Haggan and Wesley Woodyard; receiver Eddie Royal; safety Brian Dawkins; fullback Spencer Larsen; quarterback Brady Quinn; tight ends Daniel Fells and Dante Rosario; offensive linemen Russ Hochstein and Manny Ramirez; and cornerback Jonathan Wilhite.

    From the above group, only Harvey, Quinn and Ramirez didn't get much playing time.
    http://www.denverpost.com/broncos/ci_19958889

  • #2
    I'm good with him getting the Franchise Tag this year... Maybe Bunkley instead, but Prater makes a lot of sense if a deal can't be reached.
    :usa: *** God Bless Our Military Men And Women*** :usa:

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    Adopted Bronco 2015 CJ Anderson

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    • #3
      Prater is a BOSS ... I hope he is around for years to come.

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      • #4
        Whether he is tagged or not; hopefully, we can work out the long term deal. He is an awesome kicker and I am just glad that he is finally putting to good use all that I taught him years ago.

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        • #5
          Hopefully they can reach a deal, if not, no problem with the franchise tag.

          Might use it on Bunkley instead if a deal can't be reached with him though.

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          • #6
            Not a bad choice but I'd rather lock him up long term.

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            • #7
              We need to keep Prater. You just don't let a kicker go that can make a 59 yard FG to send it to overtime.
              sigpic

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              • #8
                I'd rather use it on Bunkley, but Prater makes more sense
                "Happiness is just an illusion, filled with sadness and confusion." Jimmy Ruffin

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                • #9
                  Gotta do what you gotta do.

                  Ask Boise if kickers matter.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SoundsOfSuccess View Post
                    Gotta do what you gotta do.

                    Ask Boise if kickers matter.
                    We went 9-9 (including playoffs) with a solid kicker, Boise lost one game with poor kickers
                    "Happiness is just an illusion, filled with sadness and confusion." Jimmy Ruffin

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by HUMCALC View Post
                      We went 9-9 (including playoffs) with a solid kicker, Boise lost one game with poor kickers
                      Their season was ruined by their kicker, twice.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SoundsOfSuccess View Post
                        Their season was ruined by their kicker, twice.
                        No only against TCU
                        "Happiness is just an illusion, filled with sadness and confusion." Jimmy Ruffin

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by HUMCALC View Post
                          No only against TCU
                          he means two seasons in a row
                          :usa: *** God Bless Our Military Men And Women*** :usa:

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                          Adopted Bronco 2015 CJ Anderson

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by HUMCALC View Post
                            No only against TCU
                            The year before too.

                            Ask Baltimore if a better kicker would help, keeping Prater is a must even if it means overpaying.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ERoyal248 View Post
                              The year before too.

                              Ask Baltimore if a better kicker would help, keeping Prater is a must even if it means overpaying.
                              Sorry about the misunderstanding. BAL lost because Lee Evans didn't get the TD
                              "Happiness is just an illusion, filled with sadness and confusion." Jimmy Ruffin

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