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Lions have offered contract to Matt Prater

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How far along are negotiations between the Detroit Lions and kicker Matt Prater? The Lions have already made him an offer.

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

After going through two kickers in a matter of weeks at the start of the 2014 NFL season, the Detroit Lions turned to Matt Prater to solve their kicking woes. Like Nate Freese and Alex Henery before him, Prater got off to a bit of a shaky start. He had two misses in his first game of the season, which came after he served a five-week suspension as a member of the Denver Broncos.

Luckily for the Lions, Prater shook off the rust and went 22-for-25 in his final 11 games of the season. There was still some shakiness along the way, but Prater stabilized the kicker position for the Lions, and he made it clear after the season that he wants to stay in Detroit going forward. The feeling is mutual, as Lions general manager Martin Mayhew told Tori Petry in an interview with the team's official site that a contract offer has already been extended to Prater.

It's unclear how close the Lions are to a deal with Prater, but perhaps something could be worked out as soon as Friday night.

Considering the Lions' early season kicking woes directly cost them at least one game in 2014, it's important for them to re-sign Prater and keep this position stabilized going forward. Mayhew seems aware of the need to keep Prater around, and this seems like a situation where a deal could be in place sooner rather than later.