After 24 seasons in the NFL, including his first 10 with the Patriots, Adam Vinatieri announced his retirement on the Pat McAfee Show on Wednesday. Vinatieri spent 14 seasons with the Colts where he added a fourth Super Bowl to the three he won with the Patriots. He wraps up his career as the NFL's all-time leading scorer with 2,673 points, three All-Pro honors and three Pro Bowls to go with his four rings.
The kicker broke in with the Patriots in 1996 after spending a season with the Amsterdam Admirals of the World League of American Football and would give the team a decade-worth of clutch kicks, including game-winners in Super Bowls 36 and 38, and arguably the greatest kick of all-time coming against the Raiders in the 2001 Divisional Round, as Vinatieri hit a 45-yarder through a blizzard to send the game to overtime where he'd kick the winner as well.
New England was lucky to replace Vinatieri with Stephen Gostkowksi in the 2006 season, who would go on to have a productive career with the Patriots as well, but rarely was Gostkowski ever called upon to make the kind of pressure kicks that made Vinatieri a household name.
Easily in the conversation for best kicker of all-time, the clock can now begin on Vinatieri's wait for candidacy for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. A red jacket at the Patriots' Hall of Fame won't be too far behind as Pats fans can now re-embrace a legend who was a key part of the first three Super Bowls.
Presenting our favorite photos of Patriots kicker Adam Vinatieri following his announcement he's retiring from pro football.