Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/2/12

Kicker Matt Prater signed a four-year contract with the Denver Broncos.

Prater had stayed away from the team's offseason program after being given the team's franchise tag of $2.654 million in March. He joins the Bucs' Connor Barth as franchised kickers who signed multi-year deals.

"Matt has developed into one of the NFL's elite kickers and is a big part of our team," executive vice president John Elway said.

According to the Denver Post, the Broncos had offered Prater more than $3 million per year. Prater is second to Jason Elam in team history with an 80.4 career field-goal percentage, and had four game-winning kicks last season. He has connected on 12 of 16 (75 percent) of his career attempts from 50-plus yards.

"It feels amazing. It's something I've worked for since I was a little kid," Prater said. "Throughout the process it was kind of tough especially once practice and everything starts, I wanted to be there. In the end, I knew it was going to get done. The Broncos made it pretty easy and my agent did a great job so it wasn't too bad of a process. I'm excited to be back. I'm very thankful to (Owner & CEO) Mr. (Pat) Bowlen, Elway, the entire organization, the fans, everybody involved. It’s awesome to be out here."

The Sports Xchange's Len Pasquarelli reported Friday that the four remaining franchised kickers were in difficult negotiations after Barth, who does not handle kickoffs, signed a four-year, $13.2 million deal. Josh Scobee of Jacksonville hasn't signedat all, while Phil Dawson (Cleveland) and Mike Nugent (Cincinnati) signed just one-year franchise tenders with their teams.

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