Lions set to sign kicker Matt Prater

Veteran placekicker Matt Prater, released by the Denver Broncos last week, signed with the Detroit Lions on Tuesday.

According to multiple media reports, Prater landed a one-year contract. He won a free agent competition Tuesday in Allen Park, Mich., where the Lions also tried out former Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Connor Barth and former Arizona Cardinals kicker Jay Feely.

From 1980 to 2012, a 33-season stretch, the Lions had only two kickers, Eddie Murray and Jason Hanson. Prater is set to become Detroit's third kicker of the season.

Rookie Nate Freese made just three of seven field-goal attempts through the first three weeks. Veteran Alex Henery replaced Freese and went a combined 1-for-5 on field-goal tries the past two weeks. Henerey missed all three attempts Sunday in Detroit's 17-14 loss to the Buffalo Bills, and the Lions cut him Monday.

Prater missed the first four weeks of the season while serving an NFL-imposed suspension due to an alcohol-related violation of the league's substance-abuse policy. When he was ready to return, the Broncos decided to stick with first-year kicker Brandon McManus, who is 5-for-6 on field-goal tries.

Prater, 30, kicked briefly for the Atlanta Falcons in 2007 before joining the Broncos later that year. In seven NFL seasons, he is 142-for-174 (81.6 percent) on field-goal tries, including 25-for-26 last year. His 77.8 percent success rate, 21-for-27, from 50-plus yards is the best in the NFL since 1970 (minimum of 20 attempts).

Last season, Prater kicked an NFL-record 64-yard field goal.

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