Adam Vinatieri did not give the New England Patriots the opportunity to match the offer he accepted from Indianapolis.
I didn't give them [New England] an opportunity to match it. I told (competing teams) give me what made sense for them. I guess what I'm saying is that I just weighed all my options and Indianapolis was the best option at that point. I wanted a long-term deal and they offered me a long-term deal with a great team, a great organization that has a chance of winning a lot of football games and winning championships as easy as anyone. So I just felt that was my best option.
So, Vinatieri basically bolted out of New England faster than Paul Revere did on his midnight ride. This reinforces my belief that Vinatieri did not want to stay in New England. The Pats surely would have matched Indy's offer. New England had offered him $2 million a year a few weeks prior. Why didn't Vinatieri allow them to match? Who knows. Maybe he sees what what everyone sees: the Pats are a team in decline.
They've replaced players like Vinatieri, McGinest, and Poole with Martin Gramatica, Tebucky Jones, and Eric Warfield. Sorry, but that's not going to cut it. They did extend Richard Seymour's contract, but that's a no brainer. If they'd let him go, Scott Pioli's firing would have been a public event.
And all this talk from Patriots fans and media that Pioli and Belichick "know something" about Vinatieri's health, and that this inside knowledge is the reason they let him walk, is complete garbage. The Pats got beaten to the punch by a team that beat the crap out of them last year in Foxboro on Monday Night. It's as simple as that.