After cycling through four kickers over the past four seasons, the Colts might have finally found their long-term answer at the position: Matt Gay.
According to NFL Network, the Colts have agreed to terms on a record-setting contract with the former Rams kicker. The four-year deal is worth a total of $22.5 million, which makes it the largest contract that any kicker has ever been given in free agency.
Thanks to the new deal, Gay will be pulling in an average of $5.625 million per year, which makes him the second-highest paid kicker in the NFL, trailing only Justin Tucker, who recently signed a four-year extension with the Ravens that pays him an average of $6 million per year (Tucker wasn't a free agent when he signed his deal, which is why Gay now holds the distinction for landing the largest contract ever given to a free agent kicker).
The reason the Colts were willing to offer Gay a boatload of money is because he's been one of the best kickers in the NFL over the past few years. During the Rams' Super Bowl winning season in 2021, Gay hit 94.1% of his field goals, which ranked second in the NFL, behind only Tucker. Gay also made 98% of his extra points (48 of 49) during a 2021 season that ended with him getting voted to the Pro Bowl.
Gay played a vital part in the Rams' run to a win in Super Bowl LVI. Not only did he hit a game-winning kick in a divisional round win over the Buccaneers that year, but he followed that up a week later with another game-winning kick in a 20-17 NFC Championship game win over the 49ers.
Matt Gay deserves so much credit. He launched the Rams into the NFC championship with the Kick in Tampa Bay, then he proved CLUTCH against SF to give the Rams the lead with under 2 minutes left in the 4th qrt. Arguably, Gay had the best year in Rams franchise history as a Kicker pic.twitter.com/SExY6GRpn8— RAMS ON FILM (@RamsOnFilm) April 11, 2022
After a stellar 2021 season, Gay was just as good in 2022, hitting 93.3% of his field goals, which ranked fourth in the NFL among kickers who attempted five or more field goals. Gay only missed two field goals (28 of 30) in 2022 and one of those came from 61 yards out.
Gay is the only kicker in the NFL who has hit 93% or more of his field goals in each of the past two seasons.
Overall, Gay has hit 87.2% of his field goals during his four-year career, which makes him the fifth-most accurate kicker in NFL history. Gay will be the fifth kicker the Colts have employed since the start of the 2019 season following Adam Vinatieri, Rodrigo Blankenship, Michael Badgley and Chase McLaughlin.
For Gay, this will actually be a return to Indianapolis. Gay was drafted by Tampa Bay in 2019, but the Buccaneers ended up cutting him just before the start of the 2020 season. Following his release, he signed with the Colts practice squad, but he didn't last long in Indy, because the Rams ended up signing him to their active roster in November 2020 and he had been there ever since.
Los Angeles could have placed the franchise tag on him to keep him around for another season, but the team decided against that, and now, he'll be leaving in free agency.