Adam Vinatieri Still Loving Football After 20 NFL Seasons

Intro: The greatest kicker in NFL history is back for seasons No. 21 and 22. What drives Vinatieri at the age of 43?


INDIANAPOLIS – He doesn't like to talk about his age, but it's hard to ignore when you consider his job.

Adam Vinatieri plays NFL football.

Football players, including kickers, don't play into their 40s.

Vinatieri is doing that.

And if Vinatieri plays out the two-year contract he signed on Tuesday night, he will become just the eighth player in league history to have played at the age of 45.

Had Vinatieri decided enough was enough after 20 seasons, no one would have questioned his Hall of Fame resume.

  • Four Super Bowl rings, two thanks to his game-winning kicks.
  • Having knocked home the third-most field goals in NFL history (503).
  • An NFL-record 18 seasons of at least 100 points.

Yet, there was Vinatieri, on Tuesday night, signing a two-year deal with the team he's been with since 2006.

Vinatieri points to two reasons why he's isn't calling it quits anytime soon.

"First and foremost, I just love going out on the field," Vinny says. "It's still as much fun today as it was 20 years ago when I started this endeavor. I really like going out there and just stepping on the field in front of our fans. That type of things never gets old and never goes away.

"In addition to that, it doesn't matter how many championships you have or games you've won, I think at the end of the day you want to continue to win championships and have another opportunity to play in a Super Bowl and hoist that Lombardi. If you are lucky enough to play in a Super Bowl and even more lucky to win that thing it becomes a very addictive feeling in the sense that it's a major thing that drives you when you go into work, and go into the weight room, or go onto the field. The thought of being back on that field and hoisting that trophy, it definitely motivates me and it should motivate me and everybody that has played this game."

That elusive fifth Super Bowl ring, which would be the most for any player in league history remains the goal for Vinatieri.

Individual records should fall if Vinatieri can maintain the remarkable longevity and production he's achieved in recent years.

Kicking at the unquestioned highest level of his career, Vinatieri's work on days not named Sunday is the reason why he's still around.

"The older you get the more you have to pay attention to your body," Vinatieri says. "For me, nutrition and sleep and doing all the right things to keep my body as well as I can is important. The major thing from your early 20s to your early 40s is your body bounces back a lot quicker in your 20s. You work out hard, you kick a bunch of balls and the next day you still feel like you can do it again the next day.

"I have to be smarter with things (now). I have to spend more time in the training room getting some extra body work. I have to eat as nutritious as I can and get enough sleep, so that recovery time isn't as long. The nice thing is it's still doable, just a little more effort."

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