Most kickers don’t get much publicity. Typically, famous kickers play for a long time. A prime example is Morten Andersen, who played for 25 years before retiring at 47. When he retired in 2007, he was atop the leaderboard in points scored, field goals attempted, and field goals made. But another 40-something kicker, Adam Vinatieri, surpassed him. Vinatieri is so old that three of his former Colts teammates weren’t alive when he played his first NFL game.
Adam Vinatieri’s storied NFL career
As NBC Sports Boston writes, Vinatieri entered the NFL in 1996 with the Patriots after playing at South Dakota State University. The kicker played his first 10 seasons with New England, and after playing with Tom Brady for a decade he went to the Colts to join Peyton Manning’s team. Vinatieri played 14 seasons in Indianapolis. His season ended prematurely in 2019 when he underwent knee surgery.
Although he has not officially retired, he has not been signed to a team this season. Playing with those two Hall of Fame quarterbacks has paid off, as Vinatieri has four Super Bowl rings — three with the Patriots and one with the Colts.
Proof that Vinatieri is old
Vinatieri was 47 when he played his last game with the Colts in December 2019, which came more than 23 years after his first game on Sept. 1, 1996. That date is significant because it came before three of Vinatieri’s Colts teammates from last season were even born.
WR Parris Campbell played with Vinatieri last season as a rookie, catching 18 balls in seven games. He never knew a time when the NFL existed prior to Vinatieri being a part of the league because Campbell was born on July 16, 1997.
WR Ashton Dulin is another rookie who played with the veteran of more than 20 years on the 2019 Colts. Born May 15, 1997, Dulin was only targeted twice in 13 games last season but caught them both.
CB Shakial Taylor was born Dec. 27, 1996, and although he played with Vinatieri last season he is unlikely to have a career anywhere near as long as the famed kicker. Taylor only played in five games last season and is not currently on an NFL roster after being cut by the Giants in the offseason.
Has Adam Vinatieri attempted his final kick in the NFL?
Vinatieri is 48 years old and remains a free agent. Combine that with the fact that his last season ended early with a knee injury, and it seems likely that he has played his final snap in the NFL and it is inevitable that his official retirement announcement is forthcoming sooner than later.
But with the way he has performed in his storied career, he is a shoo-in to make the Hall of Fame, joining Andersen and Jan Stenerud as the only pure kickers in Canton. Even without attempting another field goal in his career, Vinatieri still holds the following NFL records:
- Points scored: 2,673
- Field goals made: 599
- Field goals attempted: 715
In several categories that isn’t Vinatieri No. 1, he’s behind just Andersen. That includes:
- Games played: 365 (No. 1 is Andersen)
- Playoff games: 32 (No. 1 is Brady)
- PATs made: 874 (No. 1 is George Blanda)
- PATs attempted: 898 (No. 1 is Blanda)