The Indianapolis Colts announced on Thursday that they have agreed to a one year deal with placekicker Adam Vinatieri. Vinatieri, who is 45 years old, is the oldest player in the National Football League. This will be his 23rd season in the NFL, and will be his 13th with the Colts. He played his first ten seasons in the NFL with the New England Patriots.
Vinatieri will go down as one of the best placekickers’ in NFL history, and while he is not as good as he once was, he has proven each season that he is good enough to be retained by the Colts. Although the Colts’ will need to make many more moves this offseason if they intend on competing next season, bringing back Vinatieri, who is a reliable kicker, will help the Colts’ have less offensive possessions where they are scoreless. Vinatieri is also a great veteran presence to have in the locker room, and will potentially have more years of experience in the NFL than some of the Colts’ younger players will have been alive for.
Last season, Vinatieri was 29 of 34 on field goal attempts, which was a solid 85.3%. That is slightly better than his career average of 84.3%, but is worse than his 86.5% average with the Colts. He was 22 of 24 on extra point attempts last season, which was the second lowest amount he had ever attempted in a season in his career.
His illustrious career is likely nearing its end, but the legend of Adam Vinatieri likely will not be forgotten by NFL fans, especially Patriots’ or Colts’ fans, for many years. Vinatieri has won four Super Bowls in his career, three with New England, and one with Indianapolis. In Super Bowl XXXVI, Vinatieri kicked the game winning field goal as time expired to clinch the Patriots’ first ever Super Bowl win over the St. Louis Rams. In Super Bowl XXXVIII, Vinatieri kicked the game winning field goal with four seconds remaining to win another Super Bowl for the Patriots against the Carolina Panthers. The Colts can only hope that Vinatieri is still capable of making clutch field goals should they make it to the playoffs or even the Super Bowl.