INDIANAPOLIS – Is the Colts most important free agent to re-sign a guy who wasn’t even on the roster when last season started?
You could certainly make the case for that with kicker Chase McLaughlin.
Not only was McLaughlin reliable in replacing Rodrigo Blankenship, but he gave the Colts an aspect they haven’t had in years—a kicker capable of making 50-yard plus field goals on a routine basis.
McLaughlin didn’t miss an extra point (21-of-21) and was 30-of-36 on field goals last year, going 9-of-13 from longer than 50 yards.
It doesn’t always look the prettiest with McLaughlin, but he has to be the definite favorite to kick for Indy in 2023.
McLaughlin, 26, has bounced around in his 4-year NFL career, including replacing Adam Vinatieri during the 2019 season.
In 2019, McLaughlin had stints with the Colts (4 games), Chargers (4 games), and 49ers (3 games).
In 2020, he was with the Jaguars (3 games) and Jets (1 game).
The Browns gave McLaughlin the kicking job in 2021, where he went 15-of-21 in 16 games.
Clearly, this 2022 campaign was the best McLaughlin has kicked in the NFL.
McLaughlin’s resume says this past year is a tad aberration, but it shouldn’t be enough for the Colts to get too greedy in the kicking game.
After lacking proper competition for Blankenship last camp, it would be smart for the Colts to re-sign McLaughlin first, and then see if there are any other young, intriguing kicking legs to bring in after the draft.
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