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Prater deal re-confirms that kickers have it better than running backs

Chicago Bears v Denver Broncos Getty Images

Veteran running backs are having it rough these days.  And the muscle-bound ball carriers are getting dirt kicked in their faces by the 98-pound weaklings.

The contract signed Monday by Broncos kicker Matt Prater proves once again that first-tier kickers are getting paid as much or more than second-tier running backs.

Per a source with knowledge of the contract, Prater received a four-year, $13 million deal, with $4.25 million fully guaranteed.  He also can make an extra $350,000 in 2013, 2014, and 2015 if he makes the All-Pro team in 2012, 2013, and 2014, respectively.

And so the game’s highest-paid kickers now fall between $3 million and $4 million in annual average.  And the game’s B-level tailbacks like Michael Bush ($3.5 million per year), BenJarvus Green-Ellis ($3 million), Peyton Hillis ($2.6 million), and Mike Tolbert ($2.5 million) aren’t holding up well in comparison.

So the message once again, kids, is to quit carrying the ball in your arms and to start kicking it.

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19 Responses to “Prater deal re-confirms that kickers have it better than running backs”
  1. bobnelsonjr says: Jul 3, 2012 7:46 PM

    It also shows how foolish the vikings were for giving a huge contract to running back Adrian Peterson on the downhill side of his career.

    Running backs don’t have the game deciding plays in their hands the way kickers have it in their feet.

    In a free market the dollars tell you runningbacks don’t matter.

  2. The Deep Dig says: Jul 3, 2012 7:47 PM

    Running backs are true football players. Per play they are hit harder and more often than any other position.

    Their diminished value financially is a perfect indicator of NFL’s turn from balance football.

  3. 49er4life says: Jul 3, 2012 8:23 PM

    What it actually shows, is that there is an extreme lack of appreciation for RBs these days due to the fact that there is an over-abundance at the position. With such past greats as Jim Brown, O.J. Simpson, Erick Dickerson, Walter Payton, Emmit Smith, etc . . . (just to name a few), achieving such fame and notoriety for being the prolific workhorses who carried their teams as role models, a plethora of today’s youth want to be recognized as the next “great” back, and are therefor choosing to follow in their heroes shoes. And this over-abundance of resources to choose from, the league has devalued the position. Yet, there isn’t a single team in the league who wouldn’t love to have a solid running game to lean on. Let’s be real, the game is played to score touchdowns, not kick field goals. A solid running back, even a “second-tier ” one, is more valuable than a kicker on any given Sunday!!! Don’t get me wrong, kickers have their place on the field, and do help to win games. But, let’s get the hierarchy correct people!!!

  4. tfbuckfutter says: Jul 3, 2012 8:24 PM

    I’m not sure it’s fair to compare the top players are one position to the also-rans of another position.

    Should the worst starting QB in the NFL make more money than the best running back or wide receiver?

  5. truthfactory says: Jul 3, 2012 8:29 PM

    In life, you get paid by how replaceable you are. The fact is there are more good RBs than there are good kickers. So there is more of a premiun on kickers. Seems weird, but thats how it goes…

  6. 91devinhester23 says: Jul 3, 2012 8:47 PM

    he deserves it. tebowmania should have been prater and miller mania

  7. mrmorton10 says: Jul 3, 2012 8:55 PM

    This tells me they should allow defenses the ability to T-off on kickers whenever they have the chance.

  8. philyeagles5 says: Jul 3, 2012 9:18 PM

    “So the message once again, kids, is to quit carrying the ball in your arms and to start kicking it.”

    id suggest learning to throw it.

  9. cleverbob says: Jul 3, 2012 9:25 PM

    Also, I bet there aren’t any former kickers hobbled with bad knees, hips, or post concussion complications from football.

  10. malekmj says: Jul 3, 2012 9:28 PM

    This has nothing to do with value and everything to do with risk reward. What are the injury comparisons between the to positions? Thats what it is about. RB’s get injured at a much higher level. And thus teams want a lot of them. When you find one good kicker you lock him in. And that makes sense.

  11. devinmr711 says: Jul 3, 2012 9:31 PM

    Kickers score more than RBs score so pay them more.

  12. benchwarmer69 says: Jul 3, 2012 9:32 PM

    “$4.25 million fully guaranteed.”

    When people asks his kids about growing up with a “silver-spoon” in their mouths, they’ll have to interrupt and tell them”Pardon me, you mean “golden toe.”

  13. cincinnasti says: Jul 3, 2012 10:00 PM

    Really this is ridiculous.. The guys that are risking the most are getting paid the least.. Honestly as much as I hate to say it.. The NFLPA should have went for a more socialist pay scale in the CBA.. Where each position is voted on by importance by the players and that determines contracts.. Look at the top 100 voted by players… Running backs are regarded as very important players to their teammates and opponents.. I think they deserve to be paid for that..

  14. kenny1976 says: Jul 3, 2012 10:12 PM

    Not only are the kickers making more money they now have an easier job since the field was shortened on kick offs.

  15. thcnote says: Jul 3, 2012 11:34 PM

    He had the game on his foot 4 times last year and hit all 4. I say pay him.

  16. spellingcops says: Jul 3, 2012 11:41 PM

    91devinhester23
    Jul 3, 2012, 6:47 PM MDT
    he deserves it. tebowmania should have been prater and miller mania
    ——————-
    Don’t forget barbermania.

  17. randallflagg52 says: Jul 4, 2012 12:27 AM

    Tebow should be thanking his God that Prater bailed him out so many times last season.

  18. wjmoffatt says: Jul 4, 2012 12:29 AM

    Ask the Ravens if they would give up this money for Prater to replace Billy Cundiff.

  19. broncosnative says: Jul 4, 2012 12:51 AM

    The two hardest positions in football is QB and kicker. They’re either gonna win games for you or lose games for you. When it comes to the two minute drill, you’re not gonna pound the ball on the ground when you’re playing catch up. Its gonna come down to the QB making clutch passes and the kicker making game winning field goals. That’s why they get paid more per their position and that’s why teams try to lock these two positions up. RBs can be found easily and they are not used like the acl in the days so you’re probably never gonna see another 2000 yard season rusher and career stats are going to be down. Did AP get paid too much? Yes! Does he deserve a high contract? Yes! But not to the extinct when you’re making more than your QB who touches the ball 95% of the time

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