Adam Vinatieri Era in Indianapolis Officially Ends with Thank You Banner at Lucas Oil
For 14 years, his foot won the Indianapolis Colts a number of games. On Thursday, the team showed their respect for his efforts while simultaneously ending his time with the team.
Anne Marie Tiernon with Indianapolis NBC affiliate, WTHR-TV, shared a photo on her Twitter account of a banner the team hung on the side of Lucas Oil Stadium at some point today thanking number 4 for "the memories."
The banner shouldn't come as a surprise to most fans. The 47-year-old became an unrestricted free agent in March after his contract with the team ended and was coming off the statistically worst year of his 24-year career. One that was hindered by a nagging knee issue that ended his season in December when the team shut him down, placed him on the injured reserve list, and signed Chase McLaughlin to finish out the season.
While the team never officially said they wouldn't resign the veteran kicker, they never officially said they would either. When they added a second kicker to the roster with the signing of undrafted free agent Rodrigo Blakenship from the University of Georgia in April, General Manager Chris Ballard was asked at the time if the signing meant the end of Vinatieri's time with the team. He refused to comment and said he still hadn't had a chance to talk to the kicker about his future. Just last week, the team cut McLaughlin, and announced Blakenship as their kicker ahead of their season open against Jacksonville Sunday afternoon.
The NFL's all-time leading scorer has yet to formally announce his retirement, but did tell NFL Network's Tom Pelissero back in April he was hoping to return for his 25th season, however quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic slowed down his rehab process. At this time, he's still free to sign with any team that makes him an offer. It's possible we will see him on someone's sidelines, but my guess is it's highly unlikely considering his age, and the status of his rehab.
Considering his accomplishments (in addition to being the league's all-time leading scorer, he's holds a number of other records, and is a four time Super Bowl champ), there's no doubt he'll be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame one day, and as a fan myself, I'm glad we had him for as long as we did.