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Matt Prater close to reaching deal with Denver Broncos

The Denver Broncos and franchised kicker Matt Prater are "not far apart" in talks towards a contract extension, Mike Klis of The Denver Post reported Friday.

Prater has not yet signed the $2.654 million franchise tender and missed the team's organized team activities and minicamp as the two sides continue work toward a contract extension that is expected to be worth around $3 million per season. Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Connor Barth was also franchised this offseason before signing a four-year, $13.2 million extension last month.

According to a source with knowledge of Barth's contract, the extension included $4 million in guaranteed money, which was comprised of a $3 million roster bonus in 2012 and $500,000 of his base salaries in each of the next two seasons. With Barth scheduled to earn $1.45 million in base salary in 2012, and unlikely to be released, he is effectively guaranteed $4.95 million (his roster bonus, 2012 base salary, and $500,000 of next year's salary), which is similar to what New England Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowskiwas guaranteed in his 2010 extension and might be what Prater is seeking in a multiyear deal from the Broncos.

If Prater is forced to play out the season under the franchise tag, Denver could place the tag on him against next offseason. That tag would be worth 120 percent of his current $2.654 million tender, or $3.185 million in base salary that would be fully guaranteed once signed.

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