The Denver Broncos have released Matt Prater, who was the longest tenured player on the roster prior to being cut. That will mean that Brandon McManus will remain the Broncos’ starting kicker, even though Prater would have been eligible to return following Denver’s Week 5 game against the Arizona Cardinals after serving a four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
“Any time you make football decisions in an organization, especially [someone] that’s been with you for a period of time like Matt, it’s always difficult,” Broncos coach John Fox said following Friday’s practice. “It’s always a football decision, what’s going to give us the best chance, in our opinion. We wish Matt nothing but the best moving forward.”
Denver general manager John Elway also said that this was strictly a football decision, stating that the team has the utmost confidence in McManus going forward.
“Parting ways with Matt Prater — the longest-tenured player on our roster — was a very difficult football decision,” Broncos GM John Elway said in a statement. “On behalf of our entire organization, I want to thank Matt for his seven seasons with the Broncos and wish him well going forward.
Prater was one of the most successful kickers in the NFL last season and, at just 30 years of age, should have little difficulty latching on with a new team. By releasing Prater, the Broncos will save $2.294 off of their salary cap this season, as well as $3.25 off of the cap in 2015. At least from a financial perspective, the move certainly makes sense.
That is, of course, until McManus misses a kick in the final seconds of a game that costs the Broncos a victory. Then, perhaps, we will discuss Prater’s release in a different manner.