$12 Million Leg: Lions Sign Kicker Matt Prater Through 2020

The Detroit Lions have signed veteran kicker Matt Prater to a 3-year extension, $11.4 million extension. Prater, who holds the NFL record for longest field goal at 64 yards, is one best kickers in the NFL; a perfect leg for the Lions and their $135 million arm.

This is a great signing for the Lions — and Prater, who pocketed a cool $3.6 million signing bonus. Matt Stafford can sling it down the field with the best of ’em, but a good kicker will take you far in today’s NFL. With Prater signed through 2020, the Lions can breathe easy in those nail-biting fourth quarter situations when the placekicker becomes judge, jury, and executioner.

With the game on the line, it’s nice to have a kicker you can count on from deep to ice the game. Prater was a perfect nine-for-nine from 50+ yards last year. He kicks those like they’re chip shots.

He holds the NFL record for most consecutive 50+ yard field goals (14) and 55+ yard field goals (7).

When the Lions get a healthy Sam Martin back, they’ll have two of the best specialists in all the land. Martin boasts an impressive 46.9-yard average on 282 career punts, all for Detroit.

Locking down Prater for three more years is a long-term solution for the Lions, who have been terrible for a generation. Megatron was a transcendent receiver, but the franchise boasts only three winning seasons since 2001, and two of those have happened in the past three years. They’re trending in the right direction, and Aaron Rodgers’ broken collar bone means the playoffs are within reach this year.

But not if Minnesota has anything to say about it. The Vikings are hot, riding a three-game winning streak into Cleveland this week, where they’ll almost certainly extend it to four. The Lions have lost two in a row, but the AFC North is still wide open through Week 7.

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