The Los Angeles Rams have subtracted a lot of players this offseason in order to save some salary cap space, and kicker Matt Gay becomes the latest casualty.
After the Rams let go of long-time kicker Greg Zuerlein in 2020, they struggled to find a replacement until Gay fell into their laps in the middle of the season.
Gay developed into one of the best kickers in the league, kicking the Rams all the way to a Super Bowl in 2021-22 while making 92.5% of his field goals and 97.9% of his extra points in three seasons.
With how much success Gay has had though, he was in for a big payday after reaching free agency this offseason. The Rams chose not to franchise tag him, which wasn’t a surprise, allowing the 28-year-old to hit the open market.
It did not take long for Gay to find a new home in free agency as he is signing a record-breaking contract with the Indianapolis Colts, via Tom Pelissero of NFL Network:
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
Gay himself took to social media to thank the Rams organization, coaches, teammates and fans for his time in L.A.:
LA!! Thank for everything the last 3 years!! All love to my teammates and coaches, everybody in the building and especially the fans for the love and support! Forever SB LVI CHAMPS 🏆
— Matt Gay 🎱 (@MGtweetymonster) March 14, 2023
Given the Rams’ lack of cap space, paying a kicker top-of-the-market money was just out of the equation for L.A. this offseason.
With Gay no longer in the mix, the Rams are again forced to find another answer at the kicker position. They could go young by taking someone late in the draft or signing an undrafted free agent, or they could bring in a free agent for cheap the same way they did Gay after he was let go by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Rams could also be looking for a new punter soon as veteran Riley Dixon is also a free agent and could be in for a solid payday as well. With other holes on the roster though, the Rams are focused on addressing those before thinking about their specialists.