Matt Prater surprised that Broncos released him

The Denver Broncos have released kicker Matt Prater three days before he was to be reinstated from his four-game suspension.

That means that the Broncos will go forward with Brandon McManus as their kicker something that caught the veteran Prater by surprised.

“I’m a little surprised,” Prater said via The Denver Post. “The Broncos look like they’re going to do some great things this year. It’s too bad I won’t be a part of it.”

McManus, 23, is earning just $420,000 in his first season of NFL action. The 30-year-old Prater was to make $2.117 million once he returned from his suspension. Had the team waited to release him after his suspension was over they would have been subject to paying his full salary.

Broncos general manager John Elway thanked Prater from his contributions via twitter.

In his first action, McManus was 3-of-3 hitting three easy kicks from inside the 30-yard-line to start the season.