The 41-year old upcoming free agent said that he would like to play "two or three more years," per ESPN's Adam Schefter. "I don't think that's out of my limits," Vinatieri added. Wrote Schefter:
"In a perfect world, Vinatieri said he would "love" to re-sign with Indianapolis, where he has kicked since 2006. But he also is open to playing for the team that wants him most."
It's nothing new that Vinatieri wants to keep playing, and it's also nothing new that he would like that to be with the Colts. If he wants to return, then the Colts should absolutely give him a contract. After all, despite his age Vinatieri turned in one of his best career performances in 2013. He made 35-of-40 field goals overall and led the league in kicks from 40+ yards out, converting 15-of-17 kicks between 40-49 yards and 4-of-6 kicks from 50 yards or more.
Vinatieri is widely considered as the greatest clutch kicker in the history of the game, making two Super Bowl winning kicks in his career and winning 4 titles. He spent the first 10 years of his career with the New England Patriots and has played the last 8 with the Colts. This season, he topped 2,000 career points.
He is scheduled to become a free agent on March 11, however, and at age 41 there might be some questions as to how long he can keep playing. Vinatieri would love to return to Indianapolis - but do the Colts feel the same way? They'd better. Unless Vinatieri wants unreasonable money (which I highly, highly doubt is the case - especially if it's to return to the Colts) or unless he wants to retire (which definitely isn't the case), there is absolutely no reason for the Colts not to bring him back. None - and this is coming from a guy who before the season said it was probably the last season of Vinatieri in Indianapolis and I was fine with that from a football standpoint. Now, I'm saying that not-resigning him would be a completely stupid move by the Colts. You won't find a better kicker than Adam Vinatieri on the market this year, nor in the draft. Vinatieri wants to return to the Colts this year. It's up to the Colts to make sure that is the case - and they definitely need to do so.
Dan Hanzus of NFL.com also talked to Vinatieri, and the kicker said:
"I feel that as long as I'm an asset and not a liability I'm still loving the game as much as I ever have," he said. "I feel like I potentially have a few more years as long as I can keep my body feeling healthy and keep kicking at a high level."
Vinatieri is still an asset to the Colts right now, for sure. He also talked to Hanzus about Roger Goodell's comments about the NFL possibly doing away with the extra point. To no surprise, Vinatieri isn't a fan of that. He offered another interesting idea: why not make field goals over 50 yards worth 4 points instead of 3? Vinatieri noted that it would increase the value of kickers, not decrease their value.
The decisions the NFL faces about the kicking game aren't exactly easy solutions. The Colts have an easy decision to make, however. Adam Vinatieri wants to come back. Now they need to make sure that they finish the deal. There is absolutely no reason why Vinatieri should not be a Colt next year.