Kicker way too pricey

Packers should hold off on breaking bank for Vinatieri

The word is that the Green Bay Packers wined and dined unrestricted free agent kicker Adam Vinatieri Thursday night, then gave him a tour of Lambeau Field and the facilities on Friday. After all was said and done, Vinatieri left Green Bay without a contract. If all goes well, the Packers will sign someone other than Vinatieri to replace Ryan Longwell.

Vinatieri is seeking to become the highest-paid kicker ever in the NFL. He certainly has the credentials as the fifth most accurate kicker all-time. His resume the last 10 seasons in New England includes two game-winning field goals in the Super Bowl. It doesn't get much better than that for a kicker.

The Packers realistically don't have a chance of advancing to the Super Bowl in 2006. They really don't have that good of a chance at winning the NFC North Division. So why would the Packers even consider paying Vinatieri $3 million-plus a season? It simply doesn't make sense. Kickers are a key for any team and it would pay to have a kicker, like Vinatieri, if the Packers were in position to make a serious run at an NFL title, but they're not. The Packers are revamping their roster under general manager Ted Thompson and new coach Mike McCarthy. It will be a few years, at best, before all of the pieces come together for Green Bay.

While it's a gamble to sign a free agent kicker, that's exactly how Vinatieri, Longwell and even Mike Vanderjagt broke into the NFL. The Packers, at this stage in the Thompson-McCarthy era, may be better off going with a young kicker and spending the money they have under the salary cap on other positions, like linebacker and cornerback.

Vinatieri with the Packers? Hard to picture that scenario in 2006. If the Packers are in position to conquer the league down the road, then he would be a welcome addition and it would make sense financially for the Packers.

Todd Korth

Todd Korth is managing editor of and Packer Report. E-mail him at

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