According to Peter Schrager of Fox Sports, the Colts are planning to sign former Rams kicker Matt Gay to a 4-year deal worth 22.5M. Tom Pelissero of NFL Network confirmed the contract details.
With this deal, Gay will become one of the highest paid kickers in the league and he garners the largest contract ever for a kicker in free agency, in terms of the overall figures and the money over the first three seasons.
Super Bowl champion and former Rams K Matt Gay intends to sign with the Indianapolis Colts. The $ numbers are expected to be the biggest for a kicker in NFL free agent history. @nflnetwork @gmfb @NFLonFOX— Peter Schrager (@PSchrags) March 14, 2023
The #Colts are signing kicker Matt Gay to a four-year, $22.5 million deal. Biggest ever deal for a kicker in free agency and most money over three years for a kicker on the deal negotiated by @davidcanter and @NessMugrabi https://t.co/W9DJIytUWe— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 14, 2023
The move comes on the first day of “legal” tampering, where teams can negotiate deals with soon-to-be free agents. The contracts are only official on the first day of the new league year which begins on March 15th.
Matt Gay went 28/30 last season and made 31/32 on extra points. Last season was his 4th year in the NFL and in his three seasons with the Rams he went 74/80 with half of his misses coming over 50 yards and he’s gone 95/97 on extra points. He made the Pro Bowl two seasons ago and has cemented himself as one of the better and most consistent kickers in the league.
The Colts had Chase McLaughlin last season as their kicker and he had a decent year in his own right, going 30/36 and 21/21 for extra points. McLaughlin has yet to sign with another team, but his yearly annual average is expected to be in the 2.5M to 3.5M range.
The move happens on the same day the Colts lost Bobby Okereke and Brandon Facyson, but kept EJ Speed. The Colts aren’t expected to be active spenders in free agency and that definitely looks to be the case after spending a large chunk of change on Gay.
Gay joins a Colts special teams unit that has struggled to find a consistent answer at kicker since the prime days of Adam Vinatieri. Since those years, the Colts have dealt with a very bad declining version of Vinatieri as well as a poor experiment with Rodrigo Blankenship and then one full season with McLaughlin. Based on how the contract seems to be structured (heavy salary for three seasons), it looks like the Colts are making a a serious multi-year commitment to the position with no real opt out chances early on, however those details will be confirmed when the full contract details are released.
Whether the move was necessary or not will be one that is discussed in the coming days. The Colts have pressing needs at a few positions on the team, so the debate on spending big money on a kicker will be an interesting one.