For the first time in 14 years, kicker Adam Vinatieri may not be wearing Colts colors on Sundays.
The 47-year-old, 4-time Super Bowl champion is hopeful that he can return to a significant placekicking role in the NFL by fall. Whether that’s in Indianapolis or elsewhere remains the question.
When asked whether Vinatieri would attempt a meaningful kick in 2020, NFL Network reporter, Tom Pelissero, had this to say on The Ride with JMV:
“I hesitate to make any kinds of predictions, but just based upon the struggles of NFL kickers and the turnover in the league, you have to bet yes.”
“You absolutely are going to hear Adam Vinatieri’s name again moving forward,” Pelissero said. “The big question with him is just going to be health…I shot him a text and just asked about it and he brought it up himself just saying, ‘that’s been the plan.’ He intends to kick in 2020, he doesn’t know if he’s gonna be ready. Restrictions because of COVID-19 impacted his rehab process.”
‘Iceman’ is coming off the worst season of his long and storied pro career, having converted just 68% of his field goal attempts and 78.6% of extra point tries in 2019.
Pelissero said that Vinny should be able to recover from the surgery, but his timetable is still uncertain because he can’t rehab at the team facility and has limited access to a physical therapist. So what’s the plan for the Colts?
“Of course he’s a free agent, but even if [the Colts] are entertaining the idea of resigning Adam Vinatieri, which Frank [Reich]…left the door open on, there’s also a situation where you have to line up other options,” Pelissero told JMV. “Which is [why] you saw them sign ‘Hot Rod’ Rodrigo Blankenship out of Georgia to compete with Chase McLaughlin.”
McLaughlin’s contract was extended through 2020 for $675,000. Blankenship recently signed as an undrafted free agent for $2.3 million over three years, none of which is guaranteed.
It seems like Indy has mostly moved on from Vinatieri, who many thought was given too much leeway in the first place after some critical missed kicks to begin 2019. Tom Pelissero says ‘not so fast’:
“He’s still thinking that he’s got a chance here, he just needs to see how it plays out.”
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