The Indianapolis Colts have a number of players who will become free agents when the new league year starts, and they will have to be smart about who to re-sign.
Owner Jim Irsay already knows one name that he wants to bring back: kicker Adam Vinatieri. In a conversation with CBS4's Mike Chappell, Irsay made it clear that he wants the 43-year old kicker back in Indianapolis.
"We'd like to retain Adam," Irsay said. "He is still kicking at a high level. He really takes care of himself. Him and Pat McAfee really complement each other. Obviously that's been one of the strengths of our football team. We'd like to retain Adam and I think we're hopeful we'll be able to.''
Irsay explained that the team won't be as big of players in free agency as they have been in recent years because they are now at the stage where they need to re-sign their own - something Irsay feels takes priority. "The first priority is keeping our own, the ones that we identify as being really important to the team,'' he said. "I've always felt that keeping your own guys is even more important than who you get in free agency."
One of the players it seems the Colts have already decided they want to re-sign is Adam Vinatieri, and it seems like a no-brainer decision when looking at it. Despite being the oldest player in the league, Vinatieri is playing at an incredibly high level and is enjoying the best statistical stretch of his career. In 2015, he made 25 of 27 field goals, ending the season by making 25 in a row (including 12 from 40+ yards). In 2014, Vinatieri was very close to a perfect season, making his first 30 kicks before his final one missed. In the past two seasons, he has made 55 of 58 field goals, converting 94.8% of them, including 22 from 40+ yards.
Vinatieri has already stated that he wants to play in 2016, and it provides the Colts with their easiest free agent decision. Bringing Vinatieri back as their kicker is a no-brainer, and it seems that Jim Irsay sees it that way too. In other words, it's fully expected that Adam Vinatieri will return as the Colts' kicker in 2016, and with the way he has been playing recently, there's no reason for that not to happen either.