Adam Vinatieri made his retirement from the NFL official Wednesday.
Vinatieri said in an appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show” he’s “riding off into the sunset” after a career that spanned almost a quarter of a century.
“By Friday, if paperwork goes through, you heard it here first,” Vinatieri told McAfee, who held for Vinatieri in Indianapolis.
Vinatieri spent the first 10 seasons of his career with the Patriots and the last 14 with the Colts. He didn’t play during the 2020 season after the Colts opted to roll with Rodrigo Blankenship as their kicker and no other team signed him.
Vinatieri put forth one of the best kicking careers in NFL history, and he may well be the best to ever play the position.
Just how good was he? Here are seven crazy stats to illustrate Vinatieri’s decades-long dominance:
1. There have been three instances in Super Bowl history where a game-winning field goal was made with less than 10 seconds on the clock. Jim O’Brien of the Baltimore Colts kicked one of them. Vinatieri kicked the other two.
There have been 3 field goals in Super Bowl history to take the lead with under 10 seconds remaining.
Adam Vinatieri has 2 of them.
Farewell to a 🐐 of the game. pic.twitter.com/KF5oetl5P7
— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) May 26, 2021
2. Vinatieri is tied for third among NFL players with four Super Bowl rings and is the leader among kickers.
3. He is the all-time Super Bowl leader with 10 field goal attempts and 13 PAT makes and is tied with Stephen Gostkowski for the lead with seven field goals.
4. Vinatieri is the NFL’s all-time scoring leader with 2,673 points. That places him ahead of Morten Andersen (2,544) and puts him in an exclusive club of 2,000-plus-point scorers (there are only seven). More impressively, he also leads with 238 postseason points scored. That gives him 2,911 total career points.
5. Including the postseason, Vinatieri has played in 397 games, most in NFL history. By comparison, new active leader Tom Brady has played in 346 games. It would take Brady a minimum of three seasons (regular season and playoffs) to pass Vinatieri.
6. At 46 years, 338 days old in his last game, Vinatieri is the third-oldest player in NFL history. He trailed only Andersen (47 years, 133 days) and George Blanda (48 years, 109 days) and would have surpassed both had he played in Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season.
7. Vinatieri had the highest single-season field goal percentage for a player 40 or older. He made 96.8 percent of his attempts (30 of 31) in 2014, the year he turned 42. Only two other kickers, Gary Anderson and Matt Bryant, have made better than 95 percent of their field goal kicks beyond their Age 40 season.
It’s going to be very difficult for any player to match all that Vinatieri was able to do during his career.