Chris Ballard Says 'We'll See' When Asked About Adam Vinatieri's Colts Future

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJanuary 14, 2019

KANSAS CITY, MO - JANUARY 12: Adam Vinatieri #4 of the Indianapolis Colts misses a second kick of the game on an extra point against the Kansas City Chiefs during the fourth quarter of the AFC Divisional Round playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 12, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
Peter Aiken/Getty Images

For just the second time in his NFL career, Adam Vinatieri could be looking for a new team.

Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard was noncommittal Monday when asked if Vinatieri would return to the team in 2019.

"We'll see," Ballard said when asked before complimenting Vinatieri's leadership role.

Vinatieri, 46, will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason. He hit 23 of 27 field-goal attempts in 2018 but missed a chip-shot field goal in the Colts' divisional-round loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday. 

"I'm gonna take a week or two and chill out and relax, and then I'll make a decision from there," Vinatieri said of his potential retirement, per Stephen Holder of The Athletic. "I've got a couple little things body-wise that I want to get checked out, make sure they're all good moving forward. I haven't made a decision yet, to be honest with you."

Vinatieri also told reporters he "can't imagine" not playing if Indianapolis wanted him to return. He has been with the Colts since signing with them as a free agent in 2006. He spent his first 10 NFL seasons with the New England Patriots and became the franchise's all-time points leader (Stephen Gostkowski later claimed that title).

Vinatieri is the NFL's all-time leading scorer. 

There is no question Vinatieri still has the leg to get the job done. His home-road splits don't show anything that would indicate he struggles in outdoor conditions. In fact, Vinatieri hit 11 of his 12 attempts on the road and 12 of 15 at home this season. Both of his misses from 50-plus yards were at Lucas Oil Stadium. 

The real question here is whether the Colts want to explore a younger option to keep around for the long term. Vinatieri is a fine stopgap option on year-to-year contracts, but he's reached the age when things could begin falling apart at any moment. Odds are the Colts will bring him back; just don't be surprised if they try out some young legs as well. 

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