“Parting ways with Matt Prater—the longest-tenured player on our roster—was a very difficult football decision,” GM John Elway said. “On behalf of our entire organization, I want to thank Matt for his seven seasons with the Broncos and wish him well going forward.”
“Brandon McManus has earned the opportunity to continue kicking for our team with how well he’s played to start the season,” Elway said. “He has a very strong leg and we have confidence in him on both field goals and kickoffs.”
This, of course, means that Brandon McManus has won the job outright during his four-game audition with the team. The Broncos traded the Giants a conditional seventh-round draft in return for McManus, but he has to be on their roster once Prater is back from his suspension for New York to receive the draft pick.
Prater received a four-game suspension back in August for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy.
Prater, 30, was entering the third year of his four-year, $13 million contract that included $4.25 million guaranteed. The Broncos will free up $2.294 million in cash and cap space this season, according to Brian McIntyre.
Last season, Prater converted 96.2 percent of his field goal attempts and was 25-26 overall.
McManus, 23, has made all three of his field goal attempts this season as well as all 14 extra points.
I’m sure the Broncos had a hard time passing on the cap savings that come from this move, but McManus has shown enough for them to think he can replace Prater moving forward.
Prater could find interest from teams in the coming days. The Lions and Saints could both use help at the kicker position.