Adam Vinatieri Plans to Play ‘A Couple of Years’ and Return to Colts
Longtime Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri plans to play “a couple of years”, while recently indicating that he’d like to return to the team, as a soon-to-be free agent:
"“Not only a season, but Lord willing, a couple of years,” Vinatieri told the Indianapolis Star. “There will come a time when it’s over for me. I don’t think that time is yet. I enjoy playing. I enjoy doing my thing.”“After taking a little bit of downtime, I’ve been keeping up with the Colts picking up some coaches,” Vinatieri added regarding the Colts freshly overhauled coaching staff. “I know they’ve been really busy. I just figure they’ll call me when it’s time.”"
The 43 year old remains one of the NFL’s best kickers, as he converted 25 of 27 field goal attempts (92.6%) last season–including a long of 55 yards and also 32 of his 35 extra point attempts (91.4%).
According to a fairly recent ESPN kicker survey, Vinatieri in his 20th NFL season ranked as the 3rd best kicker in the NFL behind fellow kickers Stephen Gostkowski of the New England Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens Justin Tucker respectively. That’s not bad for a kicker that’s supposed to be in the “twilight of his career”, when he’s paired with kickers in their “prime”.
Currently, Vinatieri just played on the last year of a 2-year extension that paid him $2.755M. With quality kickers being held at a premium and the inflation of NFL contracts as a whole, Vinatieri figures to be in-line for a pay raise.
It appears that both the Colts and Vinatieri would like to get a deal done soon, as owner Jim Irsay recently said that he wants Vinatieri to return to the Colts:
"“We’d like to retain Adam,” Irsay said. “We believe he’s still kicking at a high level. He really takes care of himself.”"
While Vinatieri has little else to accomplish, as a 4x Super Bowl Champion, 3x First-Team All-Pro, and 3x Pro Bowler and being regarded as arguably the most clutch kicker in NFL history, there is one record he could still be kicking for.
Specifically, Vinatieri is 3rd at 2,253 points for most career points all-time and still trails two kicking greats Morten Andersen (2,544) and Gary Anderson (2,434) for the most career points all-time:
"“Now it’s about I kind of want to catch Mort and Gary,” Vinatieri said about extending his playing career earlier this offseason. “They’re way out in front of me. It’ll take me a long time. We’ll see how it goes. I say that with all due respect for those two guys. I’ve always said I want to win another Super Bowl. There are no guarantees. We’ll see where it goes.”"
Of course, as Vinatieri indicates, another Super Bowl ring to cover his entire hand wouldn’t hurt.