Adam Vinatieri Announces He's Retiring from NFL After 24 SeasonsMay 26, 2021
Adam Vinatieri was an NFL kicker for 24 seasons, and the 48-year-old will not add to that figure, as he announced his retirement Wednesday on The Pat McAfee Show (warning: video contains profanity).
Vinatieri had a rocky final season in 2019, making just 17 of 25 field-goal attempts and 22 of 28 extra points. His 68.0 field-goal percentage was easily the worst of his career and well below his average of 84.3 percent entering the season, while his 78.6 extra-point percentage marked the only time he failed to reach 91.4.
He also played just 12 games before requiring surgery on the meniscus and patellar tendon in his left knee. It was uncertain if Vinatieri would come back for a 25th season, and he told Mike Chappell of Fox59 in April 2020 he was at peace if his career was over:
"If I can't make it back, it is what it is. 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.
"Saying that, my definition of Adam Vinatieri the football player is he's had a pretty good run. If it's not in the cards and I'm not coming back—and I'm not saying that—then, yes, I'll be at peace."
Vinatieri is a future Hall of Famer and arguably the most iconic kicker in NFL history. The three-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro is the NFL's all-time leader in scoring (2,673 points), made field goals (599) and field-goal attempts (715).
He's also the author of some of the most clutch kicks of all time. There were his game-tying and game-winning field goals in blizzard conditions during the infamous Tuck Rule game in 2002 and his game-winning kicks in Super Bowls XXXVI and XXXVIII for the New England Patriots. The South Dakota State product won three Super Bowls with the Patriots and another with the Indianapolis Colts, with whom he spent his last 14 seasons.
The most clutch kicker in NFL history had a spectacular career, and after two-plus decades, Vinatieri is calling it quits.