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Wednesday open thread: How many years does Matt Prater have left in the tank?

Matt Prater will be 35 by the start of the 2019 season. How many years does he have left?

NFL: Detroit Lions at Buffalo Bills Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

As a Lions fan, it can be easy to forget the sheer value of having a good kicker. 2014 was a valuable lesson in that regard, as the kicking abilities (or lack thereof) of Nate Freese and Alex Henery cost the Lions games that would eventually be the difference between winning the division and coming in second to the Packers despite an 11-5 record.

Since October of 2014, the Lions have been blessed with the trusty cannon-leg of Matt Prater, who has had a field goal percentage a shade over 86 percent since joining the team despite his constant deployment from what many teams would consider to be outside of reasonable field goal range.

Prater’s getting up there in age, however. He’ll turn 35 years old on August 10, and while he was still objectively a strong kicker last year, he showed clear signs of not having the power he had in years past. So, that begs the question:

How many years does Matt Prater have left in the tank?

My answer: Two more seasons.

Prater is under contract with the Lions for two more years, and for a relatively cheap price for a kicker of his caliber. He’s still probably in the top half of the league in power and accuracy, and even if he declines in the former, an accurate kicker is hard to find.

I don’t think the Lions will re-sign Prater to a contract that would start when he’s 37, but I don’t think they’ll go out of their way to replace him so long as his leg strength is serviceable.

Your turn.


How many years does Matt Prater have left in the tank?

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  • 3%
    (12 votes)
  • 28%
    (107 votes)
  • 28%
    (108 votes)
  • 40%
    (152 votes)
379 votes total Vote Now