Matt Prater belongs to the camp of the American footballers in the National Football League (NFL) who kicked off their professional careers as undrafted free agents. He eventually registered his presence very strongly in the league and is today, counted among invaluable players in his team particularly and the league in general.
The footballer was born on August 10, 1984, in Mayfield Heights, Ohio. He plays for the Detroit Lions in the NFL as a placekicker. Before he found his way into the league, Matt whose full name is Matthew Phillip Prater was a student at Cypress Lake High School but transferred to Estero High School in Estero, Florida, during his sophomore year. He was part of the football team in Estero and his strong play in the team earned him second-team All-State, first-team all-conference and All-Southwest Florida. He was also picked to the second-team “Dream Team” before his graduation in 2002.
Moving forward, Matt continued with his college career as he got into the University of Central Florida (UCF) playing both as a placekicker and a punter. With the very first kick of his college career, he announced his unusual leg strength as he made a 53-yarder against Penn State.
During his second year in the school in 2003, the player became even better. Matt Prater led the nation in punting and with his 47.9 yards per punt, he set both his school and MAC records. Matt also shone in placekicking, converting 10-of-13 field goal attempts and going 4-for-4 on attempts of 40 yards or longer. In the game against Virginia Tech on August 31, he punted 6 times and made a 55.7-yard average (including punts of 71 and 67 yards).
In 2004 college football season, Prater played only 9 games. He scored 11 goals back to back in the game against the Buffalo Bull football team of the University of New York and with this, he set a record of second longest streak in the school. However, he was forced to stay away from playing before the end of the season due to a leg injury.
By the time his college career ended in 2005, Matt Prater had played 46 games with UCF, converting 50 of 74 field goal attempts, with a long of 53 yards. He also recorded 50 field goals which tie him for the school record and made 258 points which position him as number four all-time in school history.
The talented footballer however entered the NFL in 2006 as an undrafted free agent and was signed by the Detroit Lions on May 4. The following year, on January 11, 2007, he was signed by the Miami Dolphins to a futures contract which was later won by fellow placekicker Jay Feely. Consequently, the Dolphins released him on August 27.
Not long after, the Atlanta Falcons came calling and he signed up with the team. Following a poor performance in the three games he played with the team, Matt Prater was cut out on September 18.
Two months later, he was signed to the Miami Dolphins’ practice squad and on the 19th of December, the Denver Broncos took him off the practice squad.
He eventually became the Broncos’ starting kicker in 2008 and was re-signed to a new contract by the team on March 9, 2010, before being placed on the injured reserve list in December. Matt was again re-signed by the team in 2011 and 2012, playing for them until 2014 when he returned to the Detroit Lions having signed a one-year contract.
On the 6th of March 2015, the Lions re-signed Matt Prater to a three-year contract extension worth $9 million. The contract was again extended by another three years on October 25, 2017.
His Net Worth
The Lion’s placekicker has career earnings of $25.45M gathered from more than twelve seasons. His 2017 earnings of $5.23M ranked 1st among placekickers and 221st overall in the NFL.
Matt Prater’s 2018 cap hit of $3.2M ranks 14th on the Lions active roster while his cap hit for 2019 is $3.4M, including any and all roster and signing bonuses. He will also earn a cap hit of $3.9M in 2020.
NFL players at the lowest level make between $400,000 and $600,000 annually while the top level players earn $50 million or more. Looking at his financial stats, Matt can be said to be in the wide-middle and as a result, his net worth is estimated to be $4 million.
Matt Prater’s Family, Wife
Matt is married to Kati Prater (Kati Rene Stark). The couple reportedly met for the first at an “ugly sweater party” during Christmass and even though they were both singles at the time, they had no chemistry. They met again at Dierks Bentley concert and decided to get closer. They finally tied the knot on April 15, 2015.
Their union has been blessed with three children-Ava Jean Prater (daughter), Pax Wallace (son) and another baby girl whom the couple welcomed in July 2018.
His Height and Other Facts
- The agile placekicker stands at 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m) and weighs 201 lb (91 kg).
- He was suspended for the first four games of the 2014 NFL season after violating the league’s substance abuse policy (in this case, alcohol).
- Matt was charged with a DUI (Driving under the influence) in 2011.
- He has played for four different teams since the beginning of his career.
- ‘Was named American Football Conference (AFC) Special Teams Player of the Week – Week 5 (2008), Week 14 (2011), Week 4 (2012).
- He also earned AFC Special Teams Player of the Month – December (2011).
- National Football Conference (NFC) Special Teams Player of the Week – Week 9 (2016), Week 12 (2016), Week 13 (2016), Week 1 (2017).
- NFC Special Team Player of the Month – in November (2016), and September (2017).
- During a Reddit Ask Me Anything Prater said he believed Hanson is the all-time greatest kicker in the history of NFL.
- Matt holds the record for the longest field goal in NFL history, a 64-yard kick in 2013.
- The NFL star also holds the record for most extra points (75) kicked in a single season.