Adam Vinatieri announces retirement

Indianapolis Colts

Adam Vinatieri # waves to the crowd after winning the game against the Miami Dolphins at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 25, 2018. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS – The long-anticipated end to Adam Vinatieri’s historic career has arrived.

The all-time scoring leader for the NFL and Indianapolis Colts confirmed Wednesday on the Pat McAfee Show he is retiring.

“Let me put it this way,’’ Vinatieri said. “Today’s Wednesday. By Friday if paperwork goes in, you heard it here first.’’

The official announcement ends any lingering speculation.

Vinatieri, 48, last kicked in 2019, his 10th season with the Colts and 24th in the NFL. He walks away as the league’s career scoring leader in the regular season (2,673 points) and playoffs (238).

Vinatieri appeared in five Super Bowls and has four championship rings: three with the New England Patriots and one with the Colts (2006).

Vinatieri finished the 2019 season on the injured reserve list and underwent surgery on his left knee to address damage to the meniscus and patellar tendon. The balky knee contributed to him enduring one of the worst seasons of his career: 14 missed kicks, including six missed PATs.

It was an unfortunate ending to a career that undoubtedly will deliver Vinatieri to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

He contemplated returning for a 25th season, but always knew the end was near.

“If I can’t make it back, it is what it is,’’ he said while rehabbing from the knee surgery. “I’d like to play again, but if not, that’s part of the deal.

“If after 24 years you’re not at peace with what you’ve done in your career, then you’re a jackass. What more? I always wanted to be a good father and a good husband. Football is what I do, it doesn’t define me.’’

Even so, Vinatieri admitted he performed at a high level for a long time.

“My definition of Adam Vinatieri the football player is he’s had a pretty good run,’’ he said. “If it’s not in the cards and I’m not coming back, then yes, I’ll be at peace.’’

Vinatieri spent the first 10 years of his career with the New England Patriots and methodically established himself as the NFL’s premier clutch kicker.

He provided the late game-winning field goals as the Patriots won Super Bowl XXXVI against the St. Louis Rams and Super Bowl XXXVIII against Carolina. He converted 29 game-winning kicks in his career and was part of 231 victories.

The Colts signed Vinatieri as a free agent in 2006 and he more than proved worth the investment.

In 14 seasons he appeared in 220 games, including the playoffs, and set club records for points in the regular season (1,515) and postseason (121). In the Colts’ 15-6 win at Baltimore in the second-round of the 2006 playoffs that helped propel them to the Super Bowl, Vinatieri accounted for all of Indy’s points with five field goals.

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You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.

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