Packers almost signed K Adam Vinatieri in 2006

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The last decade and a half for the Green Bay Packers at the kicker position could have played out much differently.

Following the recent retirement of future Hall of Fame kicker Adam Vinatieri, former Packers executive Andrew Brandt shared a story of how he almost lured Vinatieri to Green Bay as a free agent in 2006.

Brandt, who writes now for Sports Illustrated, was optimistic that Vinatieri would sign with the Packers after visiting Green Bay that spring, but the Indianapolis Colts came in at the last minute and offered a chance to kick in a dome, ruining the potential pairing.

In fact, Brandt said he was “convinced” Vinatieri would sign with the Packers following the visit, but the Colts’ offer to play indoors was too much for the veteran kicker to pass up.

Good decision. Vinatieri went on to play another 14 years with the Colts, cementing his legacy as one of the greatest kickers of all time.

The Packers, meanwhile, got a poor season from Dave Rayner in 2006 (74.3 percent on field goal attempts) and a year later drafted Mason Crosby in the sixth round of the 2007 draft.

Crosby, now 36, remains the Packers kicker and is going into his 15th season in Green Bay. He is the franchise’s all-time leader in points scored, field goals made and extra points made. He has also appeared in 224 straight games, second only in franchise history to Brett Favre.

Who knows how long Vinatieri would have lasted in Green Bay. And signing him in 2006 would have meant losing out on Crosby a year later. In the long run, it looks like everything turned out right for both Vinatieri and the Packers.

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