The kicker position appears to be set, for now.
After 47-year old Adam Vinatieri went down with injuries, his career appears to be over.
McLaughlin spent time with the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Chargers before the Colts picked him up on Week 14.
McLaughlin made 18 of 23 attempts last season, including a 50-yard field goal on Week 17.
Despite veterans available, the Colts seem content with moving forward with the youngster.
Did McLaughlin Do Enough?
For the time being, the answer is yes.
McLaughlin replaced, perhaps, the greatest kicker of all time and took advantage of the opportunities.
Despite playing for three teams, McLaughlin appears to have the starting job for the 2020 season.
#Colts K Chase McLaughlin had a wild rookie season…finally landing in Indy to take over for Vinatieri.
• McLaughlin went 5-of-6 in FGA & perfect 11 made XPA.
— Olivia Ray (@OliviaRayWISH) December 30, 2019
At the end of the year press conference, GM Chris Ballard appeared to be content with McLaughlin holding down the fort.
Ballard described himself, “happy with Chase,” at the end of the year, and how he transitioned after replacing Vinatieri.
“You come in and you have to follow Adam Vinatieri, you’ve got a little something to you,” said Ballard, via Colts.com. “He’s got a really calm demeanor, he’s got a process that he goes through to kick. We like Chase.”
The Veteran Options
Until Los Angeles Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein is signed, the rumors will not die down though.
Greg, “The Leg” Zuerlein is known as one of the most powerful kickers in the league.
After a down 2019 season, Zuerlein is currently a free agent.
Zuerlein had the worst kicking season of his career in 2019 by kicking just 24 of 33 attempts (72%).
However, his prior two seasons featured Zuerlein converting 27 of 31 attempts (2018), and 38 of 40 (2017).
Greg Zuerlein has ice in his veins ❄️
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) January 20, 2019
Option B: Stephen Gostkowski
The New England Patriots marked the end of an era after releasing Stephen Gostkowski, who was apart of three Super Bowl titles.
Gostkowski held the kicking job for 14 years after Vinatieri left the Patriots.
Now, he is a candidate to replace Vinatieri once again.
Gostkowski missed most of last season with a hip injury and the Patriots elected to save the money.
Rather than bringing back the four-time Pro Bowl kicker, the Patriots saved $3.5 million in cap space.
You will be missed Stephen Gostkowski. pic.twitter.com/UHmqU3dVAb
— Kevin Rooney (@Rooney013) March 23, 2020
The 36-year old could get a call if he is healthy.
Gostkowski played in just four games in 2019 but had a solid 2018 campaign.
In 2018, Gostkowski made 27 of 32 field-goal attempts, including four of six tries between 40-49 yards.
The Colts have the money to bring in a veteran to compete against McLaughlin.
If the Colts bring in Zuerlein, we wouldn’t expect that much of a competition.
We would just assume Zuerlein is the starter.
However, if another veteran came to compete, then we could have a kicking competition come preseason time.