The Denver Broncos announced today that kicker Matt Prater has been released. Prater, who led the NFL in field goal percentage last year, is eligible to return this week from a four game suspension for substance abuse.
Prater’s attorney, Harvey Steinberg, reported in August that Prater was suspended for drinking at his house during the offseason. As an enrollee in the NFL’s alcohol abuse program, Prater is forbidden from drinking.
Despite Prater’s issues, he’s widely regarded as one of the NFL’s premier kickers. He knocked down 96% of his field goals last year – tops in the league – and holds the NFL’s longest field goal record with a kick of 64 yards. He set the record last year.
Broncos general manager John Elway was mum on why the team released Prater.
"Parting ways with Matt Prater -- the longest-tenured player on our roster -- was a very difficult football decision," 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 will be replaced by Brandon McManus in Denver. Expect the Saints and the Lions to give Prater a call sooner rather than later.
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