Indianapolis Colts free agent focus: Adam Vinatieri
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Jan. 25, 2016) – The Indianapolis Colts already are in the process of putting a season of discontent behind them, and ensuring it doesn’t repeat itself.
Foremost on the team’s “to-do’’ list is determining which of its own players whose contracts expire in early-March merit re-signing. More than a dozen players, including the franchise’s all-time scoring leader (Adam Vinatieri) and six others who started at least six games, will become unrestricted free agents unless they sign a new contract before March 9.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll take a capsule look at a few of the more significant free-agents-to-be.
Adam Vinatieri, placekicker
- ’15 games/starts:16/0
- ’15 salary: $2 million
- Case for re-signing: Sit back, this could take awhile. Not only is the NFL’s oldest player (43) stiff-arming Father Time, he’s getting better with age. Since 2014, Vinatieri has converted a league-best 55-of-58 field-goal attempts (94.8 percent), including 7-of-8 on attempts of at least 50 yards. He generated a personal-best streak of 35 made field goals from 2013-14 and finished last season by converting 25 in a row.
No one should underestimate Vinatieri’s desire to further fatten a resume that likely will deliver him to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. He ranks No. 3 in NFL history with 2,253 points and needs 292 to surpass Morten Andersen’s all-time mark (2,544). A smile creeps across Vinatieri’s face when he considers becoming the NFL’s career scoring leader.
Management faces monumental financial concerns moving forward, most notably getting Andrew Luck locked up with what will be the heftiest contract in league history. That deal will impact the team’s ability to satisfy other players and keep the roster at an acceptable level. However, it should not impact satisfying Vinatieri. If the Colts balk at offering him a fair market deal — $3-3.5 million per season – another team won’t hesitate.
- Case against: None. Zero. Zip. Nada.
- Projection: Pay the man.
- Quotable: “We’ll see if they want me back or if someone else wants me,” Vinatieri said. “We’ll keep going. My body feels good. I feel like I still can contribute. I’m going to talk to my wife after the season’s over, but I have every intention of playing next year.
“Hopefully it’s here.”