Wednesday morning, Bob Kravitz of WTHR reported that the Indianapolis Colts and impending free agent kicker Adam Vinatieri are closing in on a one-year contract. Ian Rapoport of NFL Media confirmed as well.
BREAKING: Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri is very close to signing a one-year deal to remain in Indianapolis. Deal should be finalized tomorrow.— Bob Kravitz (@bkravitz) February 21, 2018
Vinatieri (45) is the oldest Colts player by 11 years (15 if you take away free agents Frank Gore and Darius Butler). He is still kicking like he is in his 30’s, however.
Vinatieri was about as good as ever in 2017, but a couple of bad-weather games kept him from converting 90% of his field goal attempts, which cost him a $500,000 bonus. He finished 29-of-34 on field goals (85.3%) including 5-of-6 from 50-plus yards (83.3%), and 22-of-24 on extra points (91.7%).
In his 12 seasons in Indianapolis, Vinatieri has made 296-of-342 field goal attempts (86.5%), and 441-of-449 extra points attempts (98.2%).
When the Colts’ offseason began, there was some uncertainty about whether or not Vinatieri would be back. For starters, his age and whether it would be an issue. Next, the coaching staff changes. Chuck Pagano was let go as head coach, and special teams coordinator Tom McMahon left as well. Last, Vinatieri said that while he’d like to return to Indianapolis, he wanted to evaluate the direction the team was moving in. Although national perception can be one thing, the Colts absolutely are moving in the right direction under general manager Chris Ballard and new head coach Frank Reich.
The timing of this move is a little ironic. When I read about quarterback Andrew Luck’s comments at Tuesday night’s town hall event, I thought right away that Vinatieri wasn’t going anywhere. Just a short while later, Vinatieri’s news breaks. Per Zak Keefer of The Indianapolis Star, Luck said:
“I love my teammates. I love T.Y. Hilton and Anthony Castonzo and Jack Doyle and Adam Vinatieri. I love those guys. When that’s taken away from you, you sort of appreciate how much joy I got out of that my first five years in the league.”