Colts kicker Vinatieri retires from NFL

Los Angeles (AFP) –


Veteran kicker Adam Vinatieri announced his retirement from the NFL on Wednesday, calling time on a 24-season career that included four Super Bowl victories and a record 2,673 points.

The 48-year-old NFL all-time points leader confirmed his retirement during an interview on "The Pat McAfee Show."

"By Friday, if paperwork goes in, you heard it here first," Vinatieri told his former Indianapolis Colts team-mate McAfee.

Colts kicker Vinatieri did not play last season after undergoing knee surgery in late 2019.

His decision to retire comes after a career that included 10 seasons with the New England Patriots from 1996 to 2006 before 14 seasons with the Colts.

Vinatieri won three Super Bowls with the Patriots in the 2001, 2003 and 2004 seasons as the Bill Belichick and Tom Brady era in New England took off.

His career total of 29 game-winning kicks included decisive kicks in the Patriots' Super Bowl wins over the St. Louis Rams in 2002 and the Carolina Panthers two years later. He also won a Super Bowl with the Colts in his first season with the team in 2006.

One of his most famous game-winners came in the 2001 AFC playoffs, when he drained a 43-yarder in a blizzard against the Oakland Raiders.

Former Colts teammate Reggie Wayne was among those paying tribute to Vinatieri on Wednesday, writing on Twitter: "It was a pleasure to sit back and watch #greatness for many years."