“Placing the franchise tag on Matt Prater ensures that he’ll be a Bronco in 2012,” Elway said.
That’s a good idea, given that the Broncos currently play plenty of close, low-scoring games that rely on three-pointers from their kickers’ toe.
A five-year veteran, Prater formally will be offered a one-year deal in the range of $2.6 million. Because the top of the market for kickers currently is in the neighborhood of $3 million annually, it’s a no-brainer to lock guys like Prater up for a much lower amount.
Phil Dawson of the Browns also received the tag, but he’ll get 120 percent of his 2011 pay, when he also was the team’s franchise player. It works out to $3.81 million, better than last year’s going rate but perhaps lower than the new high-water mark that otherwise would have been set.