Adam Vinatieri is, by any statistical metric, the greatest kicker in NFL history. He holds the league’s all-time career scoring record, and he has been as automatic as you can get since 1996.
But he is struggling this year. Badly.
He missed two Indianapolis Colts extra points in Sunday’s win over the Titans. That followed a Week 1 game in which he missed one extra point and two field goals of 46 and 29 yards. That’s about as un-Vinatieri a performance as you can get.
After the game, Vinatieri had an ominous statement to assembled media:
Just grabbed Adam Vinatieri was he headed to the bus. He said “you’ll here from me tomorrow.” I told him we don’t see him tomorrow. And he said, “Yeah, you will.”
— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) September 15, 2019
“You’ll hear from me tomorrow,” Vinatieri said. When reminded that Monday is usually an off day for the Colts, Vinatieri indicated that he would indeed be speaking to media Monday, regardless of the rest of the team.
The obvious extrapolation here is that Vinatieri will announce his retirement, and given that he’s 46, that would come as no surprise. Here’s how long he has been playing: his first season with the Patriots, the team lost to the Brett Favre-led Packers in the Super Bowl. At that point, the Patriots had won exactly zero Super Bowls. Steve Young, John Elway and Dan Marino were still playing. That’s a long time ago.
We’ll find out soon enough what Vinatieri has in mind. Regardless, he’s one of the all-time greats, and if this is the end for him, he’ll get all the praise he deserves while he waits for the call from Canton.
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