Despite some feeling that there was never any real competition for the job, in a surprise move the Colts have released Punter Jeff Locke today and look to be moving forward with rookie Rigoberto Sanchez.
After signing Locke to a 2-year deal and guaranteeing him 1.25 million, it appears the Colts have felt good enough with Sanchez’ performance to move forward with him.
Our own Matt Danely talked about this very thing on the latest edition of the Stampede Blue Colts Cast, stating that he thought the added leg and hang time on Sanchez’ kicks were deserving of winning him the spot, and it seems the Colts agree. Given his play thus far and the veteran presence of Vinatieri in the room with him to help him develop as a pro, Sanchez could turn into a great asset on special teams.
The Colts were looking for one of these guys to show consistency in their play and Sanchez has done enough to warrant their trust moving forward. He will have a big boot to fill given the man he is replacing, Pat McAfee was both a presence in the community and in the locker room. It will be interesting to see how the rookie is able to handle onside kicks, fake punts, and things of that nature that the Colts have done well with over the past couple of years.
This serves as just another example of the Colts getting younger and working on developing talent that can play a role on the team for a long time to come.