Adam Vinatieri

South Notes: Bucs, Colts, Vinatieri, Jaguars

Although the Buccaneers ultimately stood pat prior to Tuesday’s trade deadline, they did inquire on available cornerbacks, tweets Jenna Laine of ESPN.com. Only one cornerback — former Giant/current Saint Eli Apple — was traded near the deadline, but others, including Janoris Jenkins (Giants), Chris Harris and Bradley Roby (Broncos), and Gareon Conley (Raiders), were thought to be available. Tampa Bay has already lost corners Vernon Hargreaves and Marcus Williams for the season, and are currently fielding the NFL’s worst pass defense by DVOA, so adding help in the back end was certainly a priority. The Buccaneers reportedly also targeted Giants safety Landon Collins but weren’t able to come to an agreement with New York.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two South divisions:

  • Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri, now the NFL’s all-time scoring leader, has no interest in playing for any team besides Indianapolis, according to Mike Chappell of FOX59 (Twitter link). Although he’s now 45 years old, Vinatieri intends to play beyond the 2018 campaign, and the Colts would have interest in re-signing him if he keeps producing at his current level. As Chappell notes, Vinatieri and his family have settled in Indianapolis — he’s now been with the Colts for longer than he played for the Patriots — and the Colts should be contenders in 2019. Vinatieri, who signed a one-year, $3.625MM deal in the spring, has converted 14-of-16 field goals and 21-of-23 extra points this season.
  • Both the Jaguars and the Rams believed that moving Dante Fowler out of his home state of Florida would be beneficial to the young pass rusher, as Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com writes. Fowler, who was traded to Los Angeles on Tuesday, played collegiately at the University of Florida, and there’s a feeling that relocating — be it to California or anywhere that is not Florida — will be a positive. Additionally, Jacksonville has several looming defensive extensions on the horizon, including deals for stars Jalen Ramsey and Yannick Ngakoue, so keeping Fowler around wasn’t a must. Plus, as Breer details, Fowler wasn’t exactly a key cog on the Jaguars’ defense, as he’d played on only 32% of the club’s defensive snaps to this point.
  • In case you missed it, Saints defensive end Marcus Davenport — whom New Orleans traded up to select in the first round of this year’s draft — is expected to miss a month or so after suffering a toe injury. Here’s how the Saints intend to replace the rookie pass rusher.

Extra Points: Peterson, Jets, Vinatieri, Giants

Since we learned that Cardinals defensive back Patrick Peterson asked for a trade, we’ve heard that both the Eagles and Saints have inquired on the Pro Bowl cornerback. Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News has a new name to add to the list of suitors: the Jets. The reporter tweets that the Jets reached out to the Cardinals about Peterson, but New York isn’t expected to pull off a trade.

There’s obviously plenty to like about the veteran, who has made it to seven-straight Pro Bowls. In seven games this season, the 28-year-old has compiled 35 tackles, three passes defended, two interceptions, and one sack. Pro Football Focus ranks Peterson fourth among 112 eligible cornerbacks.

On the flip side, the Jets may not need to overpay for the cornerback, as Pro Football Focus has been fond of Morris Claiborne and Trumaine Johnson‘s performance this season (along with top backup Darryl Roberts).

Let’s take a look at some more notes from around the NFL…

  • Albert Breer of SI.com doesn’t believe the Cardinals are motivated to move Peterson, and the recent trade request won’t force their hand. The veteran is still one of the top coverage cornerbacks in the NFL, and his salary over the next two seasons doesn’t break the bank. If the team were to make a move, Breer points to the Saints and Chiefs as logical landing spots.
  • Earlier today, the Colts worked out a trio of kickers in Kai ForbathCairo Santos, and Taylor Bertolet. However, Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network tweets that the team won’t be signing any of these options since they’re holding out hope that Adam Vinatieri will be ready to go for this weekend’s matchup with the Raiders. Today’s workouts were solely a contingency in case the future Hall of Famer doesn’t suit up. The 45-year-old is currently dealing with a groin injury, and it could force him to miss only his second regular season game since the beginning of 2014.
  • Despite the Giantstrade of Eli Apple earlier today, head coach Pat Shurmur wanted to make it clear that the team wasn’t giving up on this season. “We’re not throwing in the towel,” Shurmur said (via Ralph Vacchiano of SNY on Twitter). “This will give an opportunity for some young players and newer players to have an opportunity to play.” The Giants sent the cornerback to the Saints earlier today, receiving a 2019 fourth-round pick and 2020 seventh-round pick in return.
  • Shurmur was also adamant that the Giants wouldn’t be trading franchise quarterback Eli Manning. When asked if the veteran would still be on the team after the trade deadline, the head coach gave a simple answer. “Yes, I do,” he said (via Vacchiano). “I think Eli will be our quarterback. He has been, and he’ll continue to be here.” The 37-year-old has completed 69-percent of his passes for 2,061 yards, seven touchdowns, and four interceptions.

Colts To Work Out Kickers

Kai Forbath, Cairo Santos, and Taylor Bertolet are among the kickers working out for the Colts on Tuesday, sources tell Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). One of these players may wind up filling in for Adam Vinatieri as he recovers from a groin issue.

Vinatieri’s status for Sunday’s game is murky, so the Colts want to have a kicker at the ready in case he is unable to suit up. After Vinatieri missed two extra point tries against the Bills – something he hadn’t done before in his 23-year career – the Colts probably don’t want to trot him out there if he’s still hurt.

We just know he felt a little something on the first PAT, so we are just going to see how the week progresses,” head coach Frank Reich said this week (via Michael Marot of The Associated Press). “We’re going to bring in some kickers, just so you guys know, but we are not going to make any decisions until later.”

Forbath and Santos offer extensive NFL experience, while the 25-year-old Bertolet is still waiting for his first kick in a real NFL game.

Adam Vinatieri Not Looking To Retire “Anytime Soon”

Despite being the oldest active NFL player, kicker Adam Vinatieri isn’t planning on hanging up his cleats. The 45-year-old told Andrew Walker of Colts.com that while breaking the league’s all-time points record would be the perfect exclamation to a Hall of Fame career, he can’t envision himself retiring anytime soon.

“I love it as much today as I had when I started 23 years ago,” Vinatieri said. “I’m not looking to hang them up anytime soon, unless something happens that needs to be that way.

“I guess I’ll take these one year at a time and see where it ends up. I would anticipate if I can stay healthy and be productive, I can anticipate catching up to Morten midseason or thereabout, and I guess at the end of the year I’d be 46. I’m not putting anything out of reach. I’m not looking and saying, ‘No way,’ or ‘For sure.’ But again, like I said, I just want to help our team be as productive as possible this year, and if everything works out well, hopefully we’ll be having this conversation again next year.”

The 22-year veteran is within 57 points of Morten Andersen‘s all-time points record, and he needs only seven more field goals to break Anderson’s mark (he still needs 135 extra points to reach George Blanda‘s record). A 1996 undrafted free agent out of South Dakota State, Vinatieri has split his career between the Patriots and Colts. Along the way, he’s earned three Pro Bowl nods, three first-team All-Pro honors, and four Super Bowl Championships.

Of course, that elusive fifth championship is another reason why the kicker is sticking around, as another ring would tie him with Tom Brady and Charles Haley for the most all time. Vinatieri mentioned that the opportunity to win another Super Bowl has played a role in him sticking around for so long, and he believes the Colts have a chance to win another title with him on the squad.

“We have a lot of things that can make this team successful and I look at this as a team that can make the playoffs moving forward,” Vinatieri said. “And that was a big decision for me. I clearly wanted to stay in Indy. My family lives here. Everybody, we love the state of Indiana. We are all Hoosiers now. But I also felt like I wanted to play for a team that can win and I feel like Chris Ballard and hiring Frank [Reich], I talked to Frank a little bit as well, I think these two gentlemen can definitely turn this organization around so I’m happy and excited to sign with this team and to see where we can go with it.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Colts To Re-Sign Adam Vinatieri

The Colts and Adam Vinatieri have officially agreed to a one-year deal, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter), setting up an opportunity for the veteran kicker to break the NFL’s all-time scoring record.

Vinatieri’s deal is worth $3.63MM in total, with $1MM upon signing and $2.63MM in base salary, per Schefter (on Twitter).

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported Wednesday that Vinatieri would be returning for his 23rd season and that he was nearing a deal to re-sign with the Colts.

Adam Vinatieri

Vinatieri currently owns the second-most points in NFL history with 2,487 and is second all-time with 559 field goals made. Hall of Famer Morten Andersen is the league’s all-time leader in points at 2,544 and field goals made with 565. Vinatieri, 45, hit 29 of 34 field goals last season, with a long of 54 yards. His 85.3% accuracy rate placed him at No. 13 in the league and was his worst since 2013, the season before he connected on a career-best 96.8% of his field goals. He’s also converted 12 field goals from over 50 yards between the last two seasons.

Vinatieri has been with the Colts the last 12 seasons after spending the first 10 seasons of his career with the Patriots. He stands as one of the most accomplished postseason kickers as well, hitting 56 of 68 career postseason field goal attempts. He’s been a part of four Super-Bowl winning teams (three with the Patriots, one with the Colts).

Nick FolkKai Forbath, Matt BryantGraham Gano, and Sebastian Janikowski now serve as the top kickers due to become free agents with Vinatieri off the market.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Colts To Re-Sign Adam Vinatieri

Adam Vinatieri is coming back to the Colts this season. The kicker’s agent is nearing a new deal to re-sign with the Colts, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Adam Vinatieri (vertical)

Vinatieri has been with the Colts for the last 12 seasons and the team is now looking to make it a baker’s dozen. The kicker recently celebrated his 45th birthday, but the team believes that he still has enough left in the tank.

Technically speaking, Vinatieri’s completion percentage has been sliding since he connected on a career-high 96.8% of his kicks in 2014. He’s still doing okay in his old age, however. In 2017, Vinatieri made 85.3% of his attempts, placing him 13th in the NFL. He also nailed five kicks of 50+ yards and missed only two extra points.

Vinatieri already has his place in the record books as he is No. 2 all-time in points with 2,487 and field goals with 559. Witha nother 58 points, he can surpass Morten Andersen’s watermark of 2,544.

Vinatieri is off the market, but this year’s free agent class of kickers still includes names such as Nick Folk (who just received medical clearance this week), Kai Forbath,Matt Bryant, Graham Gano, and Sebastian Janikowski.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Adam Vinatieri Intends To Play In 2018

Veteran kicker Adam Vinatieri intends to continue his career in 2018, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).Adam Vinatieri

The 45-year-old Vinatieri will become an unrestricted free agent in March, as his previous two-year deal with the Colts has expired. It’s unclear if Vinatieri has any interest in receiving offers from other clubs, or if Indianapolis wants to retain its longtime placekicker, but given that he’s spent the past dozen years with the Colts, a return seems likely. Vinatieri had been earning $3MM annually, a figure which placed him just inside the top 10 contracts at kicker.

Vinatieri’s field goal percentage has been dwindling ever since he hit a career-high 96.8% of his kicks in 2014 — this past season, Vinatieri made 85.3% of his attempts, good for 13th in the NFL. However, Vinatieri converted five kicks of 50+ yards (the second most of his career), and missed only two extra points.

If he does hit the open market, Vinatieri will join a free agent class of kickers that also includes Matt Bryant, Graham Gano, Kai Forbath, and Sebastian Janikowski, among others.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

South Notes: Colts, Mariota, Bucs, Saints

Sunday’s snow game in Buffalo may end up costing Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri a significant amount of money, as Mike Wells of ESPN.com writes. Vinatieri has a clause in his contract that calls for him to earn a $500K bonus for converting 90% of his field goal attempts this season. After missing two field goals in a near blizzard against the Bills, Vinatieri’s field goal percentage now sits at just 88%, down from 95.6% entering Week 15. As Wells details, Vinatieri will need to hit at least five-of-five attempts during Indianapolis’ remaining three games in order to hit 90% again and reach his incentive threshold. Vinatieri, 44, is earning $2.75MM in base salary this year, and will become a free agent next spring.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two South divisions:

  • Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota is still dealing with hamstring, leg, and ankle issues and could require surgery following the season, a source tells Paul Kuharsky of PaulKuharsky.com. Mariota, who missed the tail end of the 2016 campaign after breaking his fibula, suffered a hamstring injury earlier this year, and the combination of those leg ailments are now affecting the Tennessee signal-caller. His recent performance is evidence of the problem, as Mariota hasn’t topped 200 yards passing in any of the Titans’ last three contests (while throwing for only two touchdowns against four interceptions). Tennessee still looks like a solid bet for a postseason berth — 81% per FiveThirtyEight — but the club could be held back by a hampered Mariota.
  • Although he initially feared he suffered a torn biceps in Week 14, Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy wants to play out the rest of the season, reports Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times. McCoy has torn his biceps two other times during his NFL career, but he believes he’ll be able to play through the pain this time around. The Buccaneers are evidently willing to let him do so in what has become a lost campaign, as the club made a transaction on Tuesday without putting McCoy on injured reserve. Despite Tampa Bay’s problems on defense, McCoy has been as stout as ever, as he grades as the league’s No. 5 interior defender, per Pro Football Focus.
  • Defensive end Alex Okafor would like to re-sign with the Saints following a 2017 season that was shortened by injury, as he explains to Josh Katzenstein of NOLA.com. Okafor, 26, inked one of the better one-year deals of the season, a $2MM pact that will allow him to hit free agency again in 2018. Before going down with a torn Achilles, Okafor had more than lived up to his contract, excelling against the run while also managing 4.5 sacks. He’d been a key contributor as New Orleans’ defense surprisingly improved from its awful 2016 standing.
  • The Colts should use their three remaining games to assess their young talent, argues Wells in a separate column. Now sitting with a 3-10 record, Indianapolis clearly isn’t in the playoff hunt, so the club can begin to see what kind of talent resides on the back end of its roster. One player who could conceivably see more time down the stretch is running back Marlon Mack, especially given that 34-year-old Frank Gore is coming off a 36-carry effort in Buffalo (and will now play on a short week).

AFC Rumors: Steelers, Colts, Bolts

Now that they won’t be able to extend running back Le’Veon Bell until next year, the Steelers are focusing on a new deal for left tackle Alejandro Villanueva, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com. While there has only been “minimal movement” toward an extension, neither side wants Villanueva to miss a significant portion of the summer, reports Fowler, who notes that talks could ramp up before the Steelers open camp July 27. Given that he’s an exclusive rights free agent who won’t be able to reach the open market until after the 2018 season, Pittsburgh doesn’t have to award Villanueva a raise now. In doing so, though, the Steelers would lock up a player who has improbably become an integral part of their offense since joining the team as a practice squad player in 2014. The former Army Ranger captain debuted in 2015 and has appeared in 32 straight games, starting 26. He started each of Pittsburgh’s games last year and was the only member of its offense to play all 1,083 of the unit’s snaps. As a result, the 28-year-old is hoping for a new contract and hasn’t signed his $615K ERFA tender.

More on Pittsburgh and two other AFC franchises:

  • Bell rejected a five-year offer worth roughly $60MM prior to Monday’s deadline for franchise-tagged players to sign long-term deals. One of Bell’s former Steelers teammates, retired cornerback Ike Taylor, shed some light on the star rusher’s demands Wednesday on NFL Network. According to Taylor, Bell informed him that he wants a contract that reflects his performance as both a No. 1 back and a No. 2 receiver – likely something in the neighborhood of $15MM per year (Twitter links via Mike Garafolo of NFL.com). Bell does have multiple prolific pass-catching seasons under his belt, including his 75-reception showing in 2016. Had the Steelers met his demands, Bell would’ve crushed LeSean McCoy‘s league-leading contract for RBs. The five-year, $40MM-plus deal McCoy signed with the Bills in 2015 continues to stand above the rest, though.
  • Indications are that Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri wants to play at least two more seasons, reports Kevin Bowen of the team’s website. Set to turn 45 in December, Vinatieri is the league’s oldest player, but the former Patriot remains one of the game’s premier kickers. He connected on 27 of 31 tries (7 of 9 from 50-plus yards) last season, tying him for the league’s sixth-highest conversion rate (87.1 percent). Vinatieri was also one of five kickers who didn’t miss an extra point, hitting on all 44 attempts. Hanging around for two more years should enable Vinatieri to pass Hall of Famer Morten Andersen as the league’s all-time leader in both points and field goals made, Bowen points out.
  • A back injury could sideline Chargers first-round wide receiver Mike Williams for his rookie season, but they should have the weaponry to survive his absence, notes Eric D. Williams of ESPN.com. With Keenan Allen returning from an injury-marred 2016 to complement Tyrell Williams, Travis Benjamin and Dontrelle Inman – all three of whom were productive last year – the Bolts figure to boast a strong corps of wideouts. The Chargers also have an enviable tight end duo (Hunter Henry and Antonio Gates) and pass-catching running back Melvin Gordon, who racked up 41 receptions last season, giving quarterback Philip Rivers plenty of proven targets.

AFC Contract Details: Osemele, Irvin, M. Jackson

Here are the latest updates on many recently agreed-upon or signed contracts from around the AFC:

AFC West:

  • Kelechi Osemele, G/T (Raiders): Five years, $58.5MM. $25.4MM fully guaranteed. Max value of $60MM via Pro Bowl incentives. Guaranteed base salaries of $6.7MM in 2016 and 2017. $6MM roster bonuses in 2016 and 2017 (Twitter links via Tom Pelissero of USA Today and Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post).
  • Bruce Irvin, OLB (Raiders): Four years, $37MM. $14.5MM fully guaranteed. $19MM total guarantee. $6MM roster bonus in 2016, $2.25MM roster bonus in 2017 (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Joe Barksdale, T (Chargers): Four years, $22MM. $10.5MM fully guaranteed. $4MM signing bonus. Fully guaranteed $3.5MM salary in 2016. $3MM of $4.5MM salary in 2017 fully guaranteed (Twitter links via Wilson).

AFC South:

  • Malik Jackson, DL (Jaguars): Six years, $85.5MM. $31.5MM fully guaranteed. $42MM total guarantee. $10.5MM of $13.5MM base salary for 2018 becomes fully guaranteed in March 2018 (Twitter links via Pelissero).
  • Dwayne Allen, TE (Colts): Four years, $29.4MM. $4MM signing bonus. $16MM total guarantee (including injury guarantee). $5.5MM roster bonus in 2016. $2MM roster bonus on fifth day of 2017 league year (Twitter links via Wilson).
  • Ben Jones, C/G (Titans): Four years, $17.5MM. $3.5MM signing bonus. $7.5MM guaranteed. $2.5MM of $3.5MM salary for 2017 is fully guaranteed. $500K roster bonus due in March 2016 (Twitter links via Wilson).
  • Chris Clark, T (Texans): Two years, $6MM. $1MM signing bonus. $750K roster bonus due on March 16 (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Adam Vinatieri, K (Colts): Two years, $6MM. $1MM of $3.25MM salary for 2016 is guaranteed. Can earn $500K in field-goal percentage incentives each year (Twitter link via Wilson).

AFC North:

  • Shareece Wright, CB (Ravens): Three years, $13MM. $4MM signing bonus. Up to $1MM annually in playing-time incentives (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • William Gay, CB (Steelers): Three years, $7.5MM. $1.9MM signing bonus (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Ben Watson, TE (Ravens): Two years, $7MM. $2MM signing bonus. $3MM fully guaranteed. $1MM roster bonus due April 1, 2016. $1MM escalator for 2017 (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Tank Carder, LB (Browns): Two years, $2.5MM. $300K signing bonus (Twitter link via Wilson).

AFC East:

  • Mario Williams, DE (Dolphins): Two years, $17MM. $4MM signing bonus. Fully guaranteed $4.485MM salary for 2016. $3.5MM of $8.45MM salary for 2017 guaranteed for injury; becomes fully guaranteed on fifth day of 2017 league year. Deal includes incentives for sacks, playing time, Pro Bowls (all Twitter links via Wilson).
  • LaAdrian Waddle, T (Patriots): Two years, $2.35MM. $250K signing bonus. $200K annually in per-game roster bonuses (Twitter links via Wilson and Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press).