We have been talking a lot about Vontae Davis recently and that situation, but another player that the Colts want to re-sign who hasn't been yet is someone we haven't heard much about recently, and that's kicker Adam Vinatieri. Tonight, however, according to a tweet from ESPN's Adam Schefter, Vinatieri might be hitting the free agent market:
Interesting name in free agency: Colts K Adam Vinatieri, who is talking to Indy but looks like he's going to hit the market Tuesday.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 9, 2014
It's important to note that this isn't too surprising of news, considering the fact that the Colts have yet to reach a deal with the 41-year old kicker. At this point, it would be safe to assume that players will hit the free agent market, keeping open the possibility of them re-signing before the league year starts on Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. That seems to be precisely the case with Adam Vinatieri, as Schefter reports, as talks remain ongoing with the Colts but it looks like Vinatieri will at least hit the free agent market. If that does happen, it would seem likely that he will leave, as during this "legal tampering" period right now Vinatieri could see what other teams would be willing to give him and bring it back to the Colts. If they're still unwilling to re-sign him, then I don't expect that to change unless he goes unsigned in free agency for a while, which I don't expect to be the case. But regardless of what would happen if he hit the market, the real thing to note is that the Colts still have time to get a deal done before free agency even starts, and even if it does start that doesn't rule the Colts completely out. I remain confident that Vinatieri will remain a Colt, but there are other factors that come into play as well - such as the fact that he might hit the free agent market.
Vinatieri is regarded as one of (if not the) best kicker in the history of the NFL and is widely regarded as the greatest clutch kicker in history. He spent the first ten years of his career with the New England Patriots, winning three Super Bowls. The past eight years, however, has been spent in Indianapolis with the Colts, who he has won another Super Bowl with and has continued his kicking excellence. In 2013 he had one of his best career years, making 35 of 40 field goals, including a league best 19 of 23 from 40+ yards. Many fans have suggested that Vinatieri isn't worth re-signing simply because he was "the 18th best kicker in the league last year," basing it on field goal percentage. That analysis is so short sighted, simplistic, and inaccurate that I really don't know what to say about it - look at more than just one stat, please.
The Colts recently gave punter Pat McAfee a 5-year, $14 million extension, and he wants a chance to be the field goal kicker too after the Vinatieri era is over. I don't expect that to end yet, but if it does I still wouldn't expect McAfee to handle both duties next year. The bottom line is that, per a report from Adam Schefter, Adam Vinatieri might hit the free agent market on Tuesday. The talks are still ongoing with the Colts, so stay tuned - but this could be an interesting situation in Indianapolis.