BOSTON (CBS) — Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri is 44 years old and over 11 years removed from his last game played for the Patriots. But that doesn’t mean that Vinatieri sees the end in sight.
The former Patriots kicking great joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Zolak & Bertrand at Radio Row in Houston on Thursday. When asked about how much longer he plans to play in the NFL, Vinatieri said he still loves the game and that he’s “not putting a timeline” on how many more years he has to play – but did give an estimate.
“There’s nothing like going out in front of 70,000 fans and doing your thing,” said Vinatieri. “So maybe, hopefully, [I will play] a couple more years, who knows?”
The topic eventually shifted to, of course, Vinatieri’s many clutch kicks during the Patriots’ early-2000s Super Bowl runs. He still holds his game-winner at the end of Super Bowl XXXVI more dear to his heart than any.
“Your first [championship] is always the most emotional, the most fun,” said Vinatieri. “I don’t care how big the rings get, or what they look like, or what their value is. The first one’s always the most special, I think. And the way it went down that whole season, it was just a magical year. It’s been a long time, but it still feels like yesterday.”
Vinatieri was also asked about the NFL’s change to kicking rules in recent seasons, which has seemed to throw a lot of kickers off. Extra points, in particular, have been harder to make since being moved back to the 15-yard line in 2015. The Patriots got a taste of the effect it can have when Stephen Gostkowski missed an extra point in the Patriots’ 20-18 loss in last season’s AFC Championship Game.
“It’s changing the dynamic of football,” said Vinatieri about the new field goal rules. “All of a sudden, a missed extra point in the middle of the game … it sounds stupid, but that point is really, really important in the outcome of the game.”
Even Vinatieri missed a few big kicks in his time. But if anyone in Patriots history could have been relied upon to consistently deliver in clutch situations, it was No. 4.
Listen to the full podcast below: