Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinateri: No retirement in sight

Adam Vinatieri will turn 46 years old in December and, if he can stay healthy, he will have spent half his life playing in the NFL.

But as he prepares to enter his 23rd season overall and 13th with the Indianapolis Colts, Vinatieri is not counting the days down to his retirement.

“I love it as much today as I had when I started 23 years ago,” Vinatieri told the Colts’ official website on Tuesday. “I’m not looking to hang them up anytime soon, unless something happens that needs to be that way.”

Vinatieri signed a one-year contract in February to return for another season. He showed he has plenty of life left in his leg, connecting on 29 of 34 field-goal attempts in 2017, including five of six from at least 50 yards out. Two of his misses came during blizzard conditions in Buffalo.

A three-time Pro Bowl selection, Vinatieri is on the threshold of setting league records for the most career field goals and most points.

Vinatieri has kicked 559 field goals, which puts him just six shy of Hall of Famer Morten Andersen for the most in NFL history. His 2,487 points trail only Andersen (2,544) and his 337 career games played ranks him fifth all-time in league history.

“Obviously this all-time leading scorer thing I knew was out there and I thought, ‘Man, if I stay healthy, I would like to reach that goal,'” said Vinatieri. “But for me, like I said before, more importantly if our team is a team that is a contender to continue to make playoffs and have a chance to play in another Super Bowl and stuff, that is a huge, huge driving factor for me.”

Vinatieri has won four world championships, connecting on the game-winning kicks in each of the New England Patriots‘ first two Super Bowl wins — in 2001 versus the then-St. Louis Rams and 2003 against the Carolina Panthers.

The potential return of a healthy Andrew Luck at quarterback and general manager Chris Ballard‘s hire of Frank Reich as the team’s head coach has Vinatieri thinking a fifth Super Bowl ring is possible.

“We have a lot of things that can make this team successful and I look at this as a team that can make the playoffs moving forward,” Vinatieri said. “I clearly wanted to stay in Indy. … But I also felt like I wanted to play for a team that can win and I feel like Chris Ballard and hiring Frank … I think these two gentlemen can definitely turn this organization around so I’m happy and excited to sign with this team and to see where we can go with it.”

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