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It's Time For the Indianapolis Colts to Let Adam Vinatieri Go

PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 03:  Adam Vinatieri #4 of the Indianapolis Colts reacts after missing a field goal in the closing minute of the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on November 3, 2019 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Indianapolis Colts v Pittsburgh Steelers | Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

It feels like something can't be truly great without ending on an absolute dud.

Examples would include Seinfeld's last episode, Game of Thrones and Dexter's final seasons and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. But those were fictional. Adam Vinatieri's case is, unfortunately, all too real.

Vinatieri could dip below 50 percent in kicking accuracy and he'd still probably be a lock for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. His foot has left its mark all across the NFL record book, whether it's clutch kicks (two Super Bowls ended with Vinatieri triples) or big numbers ( he's the NFL's all-time leading scorer). So, it's safe to say NFL history runs through his leg. Unfortunately, this season Vinatieri's historical leg has been letting him down constantly.

Vinatieri has gone a combined 28-of-39 on his kicks this season, with a troubling 14-of-20 mark on extra points. His missed kicks are costing the Indianapolis Colts games, and it may well come back to haunt them as they fight for a playoff spot in the competitive AFC.

In a matchup against the lowly Miami Dolphins this weekend, Vinatieri missedan extra point. Indianapolis lost the game 16-12, a four-point margin, one that could've been set up for the tie if not for the miss. One week prior, he missed a field goal and another extra point in a 26-24 loss to Pittsburgh.

Simply put, it's time for Vinatieri to go.

It's understandable that Indianapolis want to stick with its veteran kicker. He may be remembered more for being a New England Patriot than a Colt, but he has donned a horseshoe on his helmet for some of his biggest milestones -- like setting the all-time scoring record and helping win Super Bowl XLI. Plus, nobody wants to be "that" team to hand a living legend his final walking papers.

Vinatieri hinted himself that he was leaning toward retirement after a tough opening stretch of this season. He reportedly decided to stay, and he responded by booting the game-winner in the home opener against Atlanta. All seemed well, but he's failed to recapture the magic on a long-term basis.

The player seems to be flat-out begging the Colts to let him go quietly into the night. There's no shame in that at all. Vinatieri doesn't have to prove anything to anyone. In fact, it's admirable that he wants to forego a "farewell" tour and allow the Colts to move on.

If they want to carry on an improbable playoff push, the Colts would be wise to let Vinatieri walk away.