With the hope COVID restrictions won't be as intense this season -- and therefore less of a reason to keep a backup kicker on hand on the practice squad, as the Cards did with Mike Nugent in 2020 -- the Cards released veteran kicker Brett Maher Saturday.
Maher had been signed to a futures deal on Jan. 5, and was on the practice squad the final week of the season.
At the time, Zane Gonzalez and Nugent were both scheduled for free agency. Gonzalez was later released ahead of free agency, and Nugent was not expected to return. Maher kicker for the Cowboys for two seasons, making 49-of-66 field goals in 2018 and 2019.
Prater agreed to a two-year contract with the Cardinals on Wednesday as the team tries to find some consistency with the kicker. Chandler Catanzaro struggled in 2016, Phil Dawson had some bumpy moments in 2017 and 2018 before Gonzalez showed up. Gonzalez kicked well in 2019 but his issues in 2020 led to the search for the 36-year-old Prater.