AFC South Rival Signs Released Colts Kicker

Frank Reich

Getty Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich may see released released kicker Jake Verity twice this season.

The Indianapolis Colts waived kicker Jake Verity on August 25, but they may not have seen the last of him.

That’s because Indianapolis’ division rival, the Jacksonville Jaguars, has claimed Verity off waivers. The team announced the roster move on August 26, a day prior to Jacksonville’s final preseason game.

Verity will compete with fellow kicker James McCourt, who the Jaguars also claimed off waivers on August 23. Jacksonville will visit the Atlanta Falcons in their final preseason matchup on August 27.

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Verity Loses Kicking Battle to Rodrigo Blankenship

Verity appears to be a promising young kicker. He spent the 2021 season under Justin Tucker on the Baltimore Ravens practice squad. The Colts signed Verity to a reserve/futures contract this offseason to give Rodrigo Blankenship some competition during the preseason.

Blankenship kicked well as a rookie but struggled during his second season last year before missing the final 12 games because of a hip injury.

But Blankenship secured his position during the preseason. He made both of his field goal attempts and went 2-for-3 on extra points in Indianapolis’ first two preseason games. Blankenship was also very consistent in practice.

Verity missed an extra point in Indianapolis’ first preseason game. In Week 2, he went 2-for-2 on both field goal and extra-point attempts.

Blankenship has made 84.3% of his field goals and 94.3% of his extra points in 21 NFL games during his career. Given that history and his more consistent training camp, keeping Blankenship probably wasn’t too difficult of a decision.

Even still, he must prove to be a more reliable kicker from beyond 49 yards to become an elite NFL kicker. Blankenship is just 1-for-4 at 50-plus field goals in his NFL career.

He did prove to be better from long distance during training camp. The hope is that that will translate into the regular season.

Verity’s Chances of Becoming the Jaguars Kicker

The Jaguars have been rolling through kickers this preseason. Elliott Fry and Ryan Santoso each spent time at Jacksonville training camp, but both have been released from the team.

Prior to his release Santoso went just 3-for-6 on field goal attempts in three preseason games.

Jacksonville’s kicking competition is now between McCourt and Verity. The preseason matchup versus the Falcons will likely be an important factor in who earns the job.

Verity should be able to provide the Jaguars some range on field goals, but the question will be whether he can be consistent overall. He made 75.5% of his field goals during five college seasons at East Carolina.

He proved to be an elite college kicker in 2018 and 2019, making a combined 43 of 46 field goal attempts (93.5%) those two seasons. But he made just two-thirds (14 out of 21) of his attempts as a senior in 2020.

If Verity becomes Jacksonville’s full-time kicker, the Colts will see him just two weeks into the season in the Jaguars’ home opener on September 18. The Jaguars open the season at the Washington Commanders on September 11.

The Colts and Jaguars will meet again in Indianapolis in Week 6 on October 16.

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