Broncos slap franchise tag on Prater

The Denver Broncos have placed the franchise tag on Matt Prater,

giving them the right to match any offer other teams might present

to the kicker with one of the most powerful legs in NFL

history.

”Placing the franchise tag on Matt Prater ensures that he will

be a Bronco in 2012,” executive John Elway said. ”He is a very

talented kicker and an important part of our team. This gives us

the ability to continue working on a long-term agreement with

Matt.”

Prater was a clutch performer for the Broncos down the stretch

last season with four game-winning field goals. He had three

straight weeks in which he kicked the winner on the game’s final

play, helping Tim Tebow and the Broncos go on a six-game winning

streak that propelled them into the playoffs for the first time in

six seasons.

He also led the league in touchback percentage (70.1) when 47 of

his 67 kickoffs were not returned.

Prater has the highest percentage in league history from 50 or

more yards, having connected on 12 of 16 kicks for a 75 percent

clip.

Entering his sixth NFL season, Prater ranks second in team

history with an 80.4 percent field goal conversion rate, just

behind Jason Elam’s mark of 80.6 percent. He owns the best field

goal percentage (75) from 50 or more yards (12 of 16) and has

converted 28 of 29 field goals in the fourth quarter or

overtime.