When it comes to free agency, the easiest decision the Colts will have to make is the one regarding kicker Adam Vinatieri. The kicker has said that he wants to continue playing in 2016 (if not longer) and the Colts have said that they want him back, so the move has been expected for months. According to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport, it's close to happening, as the Colts are working to get Vinatieri under contract.
#Colts are working on a deal to lock up future HOF kicker Adam Vinatieri, sources say. This was an open secret in Indy. Very respected there— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 1, 2016
#Colts coach Chuck Pagano and his staff values Adam Vinatieri's professionalism and leadership. Locking him up was a no-brainer.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 1, 2016
This news is not surprising at all, as it was expected to come at some point. Still, it's good to hear that the team is currently working toward re-signing him, since it was a no-brainer decision. As Rapoport notes, Vinatieri is a leader on the team and a great influence, but more than that, he's still kicking at a very high level. In fact, he's kicking at the highest level of his NFL career.
No kicker in football has been more accurate than Vinatieri has over the past two seasons, as he is 55 of 58 on field goals, converting 94.8% of his kicks. In 2014, he was a Pro Bowler and a first-team All-Pro as he hit 30 kicks in a row to open the season before missing his one in week 17, and then in 2015 he finished the year by hitting 25 in a row after two early misses in the first two weeks. In his career, he has had five seasons of converting more than 90% of his field goals - and two of them have come in the past two years. Added to that, he also kicked a couple of game-winners for the Colts in 2015 and was named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Month in November.
Without a doubt, he's still among the very best kickers in the NFL and is a tremendous boost to the Colts, so re-signing him is an easy decision. Though he's 43 years old and the oldest player in football, he's still kicking very well and is a great influence in the locker room. It sounds all but certain that he'll be back for an eleventh season in Indianapolis (he spent ten in New England), and while this news today is the opposite of surprising, it's still encouraging and still worth noting.