Patriots

Former Patriots kicker and Super Bowl hero Adam Vinatieri retires after 24 seasons

Vinatieri won four Super Bowls -- three with New England -- and had game-winning kicks in Super Bowls XXXVI and XXXVIII.

Adam Vinatieri Patriots
Adam Vinatieri celebrating his Super Bowl-winning kick against the St. Louis Rams in 2001. Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Yet another Patriots legend has said farewell to the game of football this offseason.

Adam Vinatieri, who won three Super Bowl titles as New England’s placekicker, announced his retirement on The Pat McAfee Show Wednesday afternoon after 24 NFL seasons. He last played in 2019 for the Indianapolis Colts.

An undrafted free agent signing of the Patriots’ in 1996, Vinatieri earned a place in Foxborough lore first by making two clutch kicks during a blizzard in the famous “Tuck Rule” playoff game in 2001 — the second of which won the game in overtime for the Patriots in Tom Brady’s first year as a starter.

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Weeks later, his 48-yard field goal as time expired gave the Patriots their first-ever Super Bowl victory as a franchise, sealing a 20-17 win over the heavily favored St. Louis Rams.

He repeated the feat two years later against the Carolina Panthers in the Super Bowl, booting a 41-yarder with four seconds left to lift the Patriots to a 32-29 title win.

Vinatieri left the Patriots after the 2005 season and spent the rest of his career with the Colts, winning another Super Bowl in 2006.

He retires as the NFL’s all-time leader in points scored (2,673), field goals made (599), games played (397), and consecutive field goals made (44).

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