Pats legend Adam Vinatieri is retiring after 24 NFL seasons


Take a bow, Adam Vinatieri.

The former New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts kicker revealed Wednesday on "The Pat McAfee" show he plans to retire from the NFL after 24 seasons. (Warning: The video below contains some explicit language.)

"Should we just make it real? Should we just say, 'Hey, we're done, we're riding off into the sunset?'" Vinatieri told McAfee. " ... By Friday, if paperwork goes in, you heard it here first."

The 48-year-old recently told the Indianapolis Star's Jim Ayello hadn't yet given up on trying to play in 2021, but that the "writing is on the wall." He last kicked in a game in 2019 and made just 68% of his field goals for the Colts that season, a career low for accuracy.

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But that final season doesn't alter Vinatieri's status as arguably the greatest kicker of all time. An undrafted free agent out of South Dakota State, Vinatieri joined the Patriots in 1996 and famously clinched their first Super Bowl victory in 2001 with a 48-yard field goal as time expired against the St. Louis Rams.

Vinatieri also booted the game-tying and game-winning field goals against the Oakland Raiders in a driving snowstorm during the 2001 playoffs and sealed New England's Super Bowl XXXVIII victory with a 41-yard field goal, solidifying his reputation as one of the most clutch kickers ever.

Vinatieri left the Patriots in 2006 and spent the next 14 seasons in Indianapolis. He retires as the NFL's all-time leader in points scored (2,673), field goals made and attempted (599 for 715) and total games played (397).

The Patriots Hall of Fame and Pro Football Hall of Fame should come calling for Vinatieri shortly. In the meantime, his departure means 43-year-old Tom Brady is officially the NFL's oldest player.

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