The Indianapolis Colts have done a lot already in 2013, in order to improve on their impressive 2012 season. Still, there is one more glaring omission that is yet to be rectified by this reloaded team.
On March 1st of this year, the Colts did the nearly unthinkable, by using their franchise tag on their punter. The Colts offered punter Pat McAfee a single-year franchise deal, worth $2.977 million, which is a much better payday then the 4-year $1.808 million contract that McAfee received on his initial draft contract. McAfee was taken by the Colts in the 7th round of the 2009 NFL Draft, as the 222nd overall pick.
Still, it seems fairly unnecessary to franchise a player such as a punter, unless you intend to sign him again soon. Using the franchise tag on a punter may seem like a waste of the option, especially if nothing comes of it for the future.
There are several reasons why McAfee getting signed is important for the Colts. The special teams of the Colts have been fairly horrid for quite some time, and having a dedicated punter can at least put the team in a good position to improve. McAfee’s “Boomstick” leg is one of the best things going for the Colts right now on special teams. On top of that, he could even kick field goals well, if necessary.
McAfee has also become a local celebrity around Indianapolis. The punter makes regular appearances on Indianapolis television and radio shows, as well as doing local charity work. McAfee’s Twitter account is also one of the more popular on the social media site.
The Colts Indianapolis Colts have had a rough stretch of special teams performers, but their punters have been solid over the years. Former punters Ron Stark and Hunter Smith performed well for the Colts, even in tough seasons. Pat McAfee could end up being the best punter that the Colts have ever had.