Although the resume is weighted toward what he accomplished with the New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri was recently honored as a member of the “Super Bowl 50 Golden Team.”
The Pro Football Hall of Fame Board of Selectors chose the best Super Bowl player by position in recognition of their performance in the biggest game. Vinatieri, a four-time Super Bowl winner, was the only unanimous choice. The NFL’s oldest player at 43 was also the only active player selected.
Three of his rings came with the Patriots, for whom he earned the nickname “Mr. Clutch” as one of the greatest pressure kickers in NFL history. He kicked a deciding 48-yard field goal in the Patriots’ 20-17 win over the St. Louis Rams at Super Bowl XXXVI in 2002. Two years later, he made a 41-yard field goal with four seconds remaining as the Patriots defeated the Carolina Panthers 32-29 in Super Bowl XXXVIII.
His last Super Bowl ring with the Patriots came in Super Bowl XXXIX. He added a fourth with the Colts in Super Bowl XLI in 2007. Although the Colts made the Super Bowl again three years later, Vinatieri was injured and didn’t play.
In his five Super Bowls, Vinatieri made 7-of-10 field goals and all 13 extra points, scoring 34 points.
“It's awesome,” Vinatieri told FOX59's Mike Chappell of the recognition. “It's obviously an honor to be named for a prestigious award like this. It's a blessing to say I've been able to play in so many Super Bowls and I've had some pretty memorable moments in a couple of them. As a player, you're fortunate to be able to play in one Super Bowl. If you're fortunate to play in four or five or six, I guess your name gets mentioned more.”
Vinatieri is the only kicker in NFL history to make field goals in four Super Bowls and the only kicker to play in five Super Bowls.
He owns NFL postseason records for most career points (234), most career field goals made (56), most career field goals attempted (68) and most career PATs made (66).
His 30 career postseason games are second in NFL history to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady with 31.
Vinatieri is about to become a free agent although Colts owner Jim Irsay has said the team would like to re-sign him. The kicker is often mentioned as a future Hall of Famer, expected to become the second true kicker to be enshrined (Jan Stenerud).
Twenty-two Hall of Famers made the Super Bowl Golden Team.
HEAD COACH (1) — Chuck Noll, Pittsburgh Steelers.
QUARTERBACK (1) — Joe Montana, San Francisco 49ers.
TIGHT END (1) — Jay Novacek, Dallas Cowboys.
RUNNING BACKS (2) — Franco Harris, Steelers; Emmitt Smith, Cowboys.
WIDE RECEIVERS (2) — Lynn Swann, Steelers; Jerry Rice, 49ers.
OFFENSIVE TACKLES (2) — Art Shell, Oakland Raiders; Forrest Gregg, Green Bay Packers.
CENTER (1) — Mike Webster, Steelers.
GUARDS (2) — Gene Upshaw, Raiders; Larry Allen, Cowboys.
DEFENSIVE ENDS (2) — Reggie White, Green Bay Packers; Charles Haley, Cowboys, 49ers.
INTERIOR LINEMEN (2) — Joe Greene, Steelers; Randy White, Cowboys.
CORNERBACKS (2) — Mel Blount, Steelers; Deion Sanders, Cowboys.
SAFETIES (2) — Ronnie Lott, 49ers; Jake Scott, Dolphins.
OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS (2) — Lawrence Taylor, Giants; Jack Ham, Steelers.
INSIDE LINEBACKERS (2) — Jack Lambert, Steelers; Ray Lewis, Baltimore Ravens.
KICKER (1) — Adam Vinatieri, Patriots, Colts.
RETURN SPECIALIST (1) — Desmond Howard, Packers.
PUNTER (1) — Ray Guy, Raiders.
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