By: Will Burchfield
Matt Prater will be kicking field goals for the Lions through at least the 2020 season.
The two-time Pro Bowler signed a three-year, $11.4 million extension with the team on Wednesday, per Ian Rapoport. Prater, who was set to become a free agent at the end of the season, can earn up to $12.15 million through the duration of the contract.
Per Rapoport, the Lions rewarded Prater with a $3.6 million signing bonus. With an average annual salary of $3.8 million, Prater will become the NFL’s fourth highest-paid kicker, behind New England’s Stephen Gostkowski, Baltimore’s Justin Tucker and Green Bay’s Mason Crosby.
Prater has proven to be quite the asset for the Lions since they signed him in 2014. His performance in 2016, when he hit several clutch field goals and went a perfect 7-7 from 50 yards or more, earned him three Player of the Week honors and a trip to the Pro Bowl.
Through the first six games of 2017, Prater has picked up where he left off. He became just the second kicker ever to make 10 field goals of at least 55 yards or more after drilling a 55-yarder against the Falcons in Week 3.
He even performed some emergency punting duties when the Lions were in a bind in Week 1.
Prater, 33, broke in with the Falcons and then spent seven seasons with the Broncos before joining the Lions. He holds the record for longest field goal in NFL history, a 64-yarder he drilled in 2013.