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NFL Indianapolis Colts

Indianapolis Colts’ Adam Vinatieri Is Still Kicking — But For How Long?

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The gray is now present on the hair around his ears. When he made his first Super Bowl-winning kick, it was all a slick black. As the gray progresses to a total takeover of his hair, Indianapolis Colts fans are beginning to wonder just how much longer Adam Vinatieri can keep kicking.

Vinatieri is slowing down. That much is obvious. He’s getting older and just isn’t the player he used to be. But the whole reason I’m writing this is to answer the question of whether Vinatieri can keep kicking at a high enough rate to keep his starting spot on the Colts.

Every year since 2010, Vinatieri’s field goal percentage has gone down. Last year, it dropped down to a frightful 78 percent. At times when I watched Vinatieri, I gritted my teeth because he had a knack for squeaking kicks in and oftentimes squeaking them out.

Not all was bad for Vinatieri last season. He has improved his range from far away. Last season, he made four fields goals from 50-plus yards. That’s more than his prior two season combined. Vinatieri also has kept possession of the masterful clutch trait. He has ice in his veins and despite his erratic kicking last year, he always kept cool under pressure.

So just how long will Vinatieri keep kicking? If he turns in another performance like his did last year, the Colts will most likely cut ties with their long-term Kicker. If he has a decent season, I believe the Colts should draft a young kicker and groom him. I honestly don’t see a great season out of Vinatieri as long as he is still in the league.