Last year, Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri missed a 48-yard field goal when his kick went wide in the first half of the team’s final game. This cost him his $500,000 bonus. This year, Vinatieri might have to go through this loss again. The kicker’s missed field goals in a blizzard last Sunday could cause him to lose out on a huge bonus amounting to $500,000.
Vinatieri’s contract has a clause that includes a $500,000 incentive if he makes at least 90 percent of his field goal attempts this season. He was at 95.6 percent when he entered Sunday’s game for going 22-for-23. However, his field goal percentage plummeted to 88 percent, or 22 out of 25, after going 0-2 on his attempts during a snowstorm in New Era Field against the Buffalo Bills.
According to Vinatieri, the footing was the toughest. He added, “Trying to run through snow and get good plant — that’s crazy. If it was just snow and no wind, it’s one thing. But you get both of them. It was a tough game.”
In 21 NFL seasons going into 2017, Vinatieri has accomplished at least 90 percent of his attempts for five times. Since November 2012, the kicker has not missed multiple field goals in a single game. However, that streak has been ended when he botched his 43-yard and 33-yard attempts during the Week 14 match. In order for Vinatieri to bring his percentage back up to 90 percent and still collect his bonus, he will have to keep on target and go at least 5-of-5 in the Colts’ three remaining games.
Aside from hurting Vinatieri’s percentage, his missed field goal attempts have also made it more challenging for him to break Morten Andersen’s record as the NFL’s leading scorer of all time. If Vinatieri hopes to surpass Hall of Famer Andersen, he will need 84 points. Vinatieri is now in the last year of his 2-year contract with Indianapolis.