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Adam Vinatieri Re-Signs With Colts For 23rd NFL Season
February 22, 2018 07:00 PM | Andrew Walker
INDIANAPOLIS -The GOAT is back for another year in Indianapolis -and it could very well be a historic one.

The Indianapolis Colts today announced they have re-signed kicker Adam Vinatieri, who returns on a reported one-year deal.

The 2018 season will be the 45-year-old Vinatieri's 23rd NFL season, and his 13th in Indianapolis.

"Adam is one the best players in NFL history and we are excited to keep him in Indianapolis," Colts general manager Chris Ballard said. "He continues to play at a high level and his experience and production are valuable assets for our team. Adam is the consummate pro and a key leader in our locker room."

Vinatieri - a three-time All-Pro and Pro Bowl selection and four-time Super Bowl champion, including in Super Bowl XLI with the Colts -could very well break two of the NFL's most coveted kicking records in 2018. He currently sits seven field goals behind Morten Andersen's record of 565, while he is just 57 points shy of Andersen's all-time mark of 2,544.

Vinatieri could surpass both marks by midseason, securing his status as the greatest kicker of all-time.

He's coming off yet another strong year for the Colts, converting 29-of-34 field goal attempts (85.3 percent) and 22-of-24 extra-point tries (91.7 percent). Of his five field goal misses, two came during an absolute blizzard Week 14 against the Bills in Buffalo, and two others happened two weeks later against the Baltimore Ravens in a driving rainstorm, as one attempt from 60 yards out was inches away from clearing the crossbar, while another attempt was blocked.

He also earned AFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors for the 17th time in his career in Week 5 when he connected on all four of his field goal attempts - including the game-winner in overtime - in the Colts' 26-23 victory over the San Francisco 49ers. Two of his kicks, including the winner, were from 50-plus yards.

A free-agent-to-be heading into the offseason, Vinatieri had said the direction of the Colts franchise "definitely weighs in on all decisions" he would make regarding where he would play in 2018. The Colts ended their season by parting ways with Chuck Pagano after six seasons at the helm of the franchise, but last week announced the hiring of former Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator -and former Indy assistant - Frank Reich to be their next head coach.

Vinatieri in 2018 will officially be working with a new special teams coordinator in Bubba Ventrone, who was hired by the Colts in recent days after serving as assistant special teams coach with the New England Patriots the last three seasons.

Tom McMahon, the Colts' special teams coordinator since 2013, in January moved on to the same position with the Denver Broncos.

Vinatieri's re-signing now gives the Colts 13 players set to hit the open market as unrestricted free agents when the new league year begins on March 14. Those players include wide receiver Kamar Aiken, inside linebacker Jon Bostic, safety Darius Butler, cornerback Pierre Desir, running back Frank Gore, cornerback Rashaan Melvin, guard Jack Mewhort, running back Christine Michael, outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo, wide receiver Donte Moncrief, center Mike person, quarterback Scott Tolzien and tight end Brandon Williams.

The Colts also have four exclusive rights free agents heading into the 2018 offseason: cornerback Chris Milton, long snapper Luke Rhodes, tight end Erik Swoope and guard Jeremy Vujnovich. These are players whose contracts have expired and have three or fewer tenured years in the league. The Colts must make a contract offer by the league-imposed deadline of 4 p.m. ET March 14, or the players become unrestricted free agents



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