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The NFL’s oldest player is going to try to break the league’s career scoring record.
If Adam Vinatieri gets his way Authentic David Pastrnak Jersey , it might not be the only record to fall.
On Thursday, the 45-year-old kicker signed a one-year deal to stay with the Indianapolis Colts – a deal he insists may not be his last.
Financial details were not immediately available, though the deal is believed to be in the neighborhood of last season’s $3 million salary. Vinatieri also noted during a conference call that he will receive a $250,000 bonus if he makes 88 percent of his field goal attempts next season after missing barely missing out on a bonus for making 90 percent in 2017.
But money isn’t the reason Vinatieri returned. He is playing well, wants to win and needs 58 points to surpass Morten Andersen as the league’s top scorer.
”I know 57, 58 points away is definitely within reach this year if I stay healthy and all that,” said Vinatieri, who has scored 2,487 points. ”I really wanted to break that record wearing a Colts helmet where I’ve played the majority of the years in my career now.”
Vinatieri made his intentions clear late last year that he wanted to play a 24th pro season and his preference was to stay in Indianapolis, where he has developed deep roots since joining the Colts as a free agent in 2006.
General manager Chris Ballard quickly let Vinatieri know the team wanted him back. The combination made Indy’s first major offseason move pretty simple.
”This process was substantially easier than it was maybe a couple years ago,” Vinatieri said. ”I know when Chris and I had conversations after the season I expressed to him how if everything was moving in the right direction and everything was going to get taken care of, how much I would like to be here and continue my career here. He expressed to me that he also wanted me to keep playing here. So the process was pretty easy.”
Vinatieri acknowledged hiring Frank Reich as the new coach also helped persuade him to come back.
Reich takes over a team that went 4-12 in 2017 and played without Andrew Luck the entire season. The quarterback is still rehabbing from surgery he had on his throwing shoulder 13 months ago.
The good news is Reich knows he can count on the best clutch kicker in league history.
Vinatieri earned his reputation by making two Super Bowl-winning kicks with the New England Patriots.
But his legacy runs much deeper. He won three Super Bowls with the Patriots, a fourth championship with the Colts after the 2006 season and nearly added a fifth despite finishing the 2009 season on injured reserve.
Patriot fans also remember Vinatieri for making two field goals in a driving snowstorm – one to force the overtime, the other to win it – in the infamous ”Tuck Rule” playoff game that helped New England win its first Super Bowl title. He rekindled those images in December when he made a long extra point to help force overtime in a blizzard at Buffalo.
Vinatieri is the last active player from NFL Europe, and he has been around long enough to remind reporters he once tackled Herschel Walker.
But the Colts are more concerned with productivity than records and so far, they’ve seen no indication Vinatieri is slowing down.
”Adam is one the best players in NFL history and we are excited to keep him in Indianapolis,” Ballard said in a statement. ”He continues to play at a high level and his experience and production are valuable assets for our team. Adam is the consummate pro and a key leader in our locker room.”
He needs nine field goals to pass Gary Anderson for second all-time and 36 to break Andersen’s career record of 565.
If he sticks around a few more years, as he suggested he might, Vinatieri won’t just be chasing Anderson and Andersen.
He also would be within striking distance of surpassing George Blanda as the oldest player to ever play in the NFL at 48 years, 109 days. Vinatieri would break the mark if he plays in the 2021 season opener.
”Less concerned about that one,” Vinatieri said, chuckling. ”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 Jake DeBrusk Jersey , 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.”
Carlos Carrasco glanced briefly at his right elbow, which no longer shows any signs of bruising.
He’s healthy and the Cleveland Indians seem to be getting better and better.
Carrasco returned from the disabled list – and returned to the win column – as Jose Ramirez and Edwin Encarnacion drove in three runs apiece, leading the Indians to their fifth straight victory, 10-4 over the Oakland Athletics on Friday night.
Making his first start since getting smacked with a line drive hit by Minnesota’s Joe Mauer on June 16, Carrasco (9-5) shook off two homers measuring over 900 combined feet in the first two innings. The right-hander struck out seven in 5 1/3 innings and showed minimal rust despite the layoff.
”He gave up a couple of home runs,” said shortstop Francisco Lindor, who stole home and scored three times. ”But, he settled down. He started making pitches. He started attacking guys. Throwing that curveball for a strike. He’s one of the best. He’s very successful when he’s doing those things. I’m glad he’s back.”
The AL Central-leading Indians have won eight straight home games. They improved to an MLB-best 56-21 at Progressive Field since the All-Star break last season.
Matt Olson and Dustin Fowler connected against Carrasco, but A’s couldn’t match Cleveland’s firepower and lost for just the second time in 10 games since June 25.
”They’re a hot-hitting team and when they get on a roll, a lot of good things happen,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. ”Not only do they hit, they put pressure on you on the bases, as well. That’s why they’re as good as they are.”
Carrasco’s comeback didn’t start ideally as he was quickly in a 2-0 hole.
Fowler connected on his fourth pitch, driving it 467 feet into the lower seats in right for his sixth homer this season and first of his career leading off a game.
Olson opened the second inning with a 438-foot homer into the shrubs in center field, giving him 19 this season and 43 in 157 career games – the fifth-fastest pace in MLB history. Only Rudy York (51), Mark McGwire (49), Gary Sanchez (48) and Ryan Braun (47) have been more prodigious out of the gate than Olson.
But while he struggled to locate his fastball, Carrasco used his curve to keep the A’s off-balance.
Carrasco admitted being a little jittery on a ball hit toward him, but he’s now convinced the time off could help him in the long run.
”You don’t want to go to the DL, miss a couple weeks in there, but at the end of the day Patrice Bergeron Jersey , it’s going to be worth it,” he said. ”From now to the last game of the season, I’m just going to go every five days, take care of myself, then we’ll see in the end.”
Oakland closed to 6-4 in the seventh and had the bases loaded with two out. But Neil Ramirez struck out A’s cleanup hitter Khris Davis to end the threat.
The Indians then put it away with four runs in the bottom half, highlighted by Lindor swiping home on the back end of a double steal. With one out, Ramirez broke for second and Lindor waited for catcher Jonathan’s Lucroy’s throw to go through before taking off and scoring with a headfirst slide.
”As soon as I become a runner, I’m trying to score,” Lindor said. ”As soon as I saw him (Lucroy) stand up and see the ball’s rotation, I just took off.”
Carrasco’s season nearly took a dramatic turn for the worst when he was struck by Mauer’s wicked comebacker. Luckily, he escaped with just a bad bruise and manager Terry Francona felt fortunate to have his No. 2 starter back.
”When I saw him, my eyes lit up,” Francona said before the game. ”He’s one of our mainstays.”
RUN, EDWIN, RUN
Encarnacion ignored third-base coach Mike Sarbaugh’s signal to stop and scored on Jason Kipnis‘ RBI single in the second.
It was his only option.
”I was coming hot,” the slugger said with a smile. ”Too late, I couldn’t stop.”
The Indians have scored 10 or more runs an AL-high 11 times this season.
Athletics: LHP Brett Anderson (strained shoulder) threw a pregame bullpen session and could be activated this weekend. The 30-year-old has been on the disabled list since May 19.
Indians: Francona said OF Lonnie Chisenhall will miss ”considerable time” with his strained left calf. He was placed on the disabled list Tuesday in Kansas City. Francona said the club should have a better sense of how long Chisenhall will be out once he is seen by team doctors.
Corey Kluber, who is 7-1 with a 1.60 ERA at home, tries to become the first Cleveland pitcher to win 13 games before the All-Star break since Gaylord Perry (15) in 1974. Oakland’s Edwin Jackson pitched into the seventh and beat the Indians on June 30.
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