Adam Matthew Vinatieri (born December 28, 1972) is an American footballplacekicker currently playing for the Indianapolis Colts. He has played in six Super Bowls, four with the New England Patriots and two with the Colts. Vinatieri won a Super Bowl in 2006 with Indianapolis and won Super Bowls in 2001, 2003, and 2004 with the Patriots. Vinatieri is the first kicker ever to win four Super Bowl rings.
Vinatieri has been called "Mr. Clutch" by the media due to his reputation for clutch kicking during his tenure in the National Football League. Nicknamed "Automatic Adam" for his accuracy, and "Iceman" for his incredible poise under pressure, Vinatieri has converted several of the most crucial field goals in NFL history, including the game-tying and -winning kicks in blizzard conditions in the infamous "Tuck Rule Game", and game-winning kicks in the final seconds of two Super Bowls (XXXVI, XXXVIII).
Vinatieri was born the son of Paul and Judy Vinatieri, he is the second of four children. His younger brother Beau was a place kicker at Black Hills State University before graduating in 2003. Vinatieri attended Central High School (Rapid City, South Dakota) and was a letterman in football, wrestling, basketball, soccer, and track. In football, he earned first team All-State honors as a senior. He graduated from Central High School in 1991.
Vinatieri was originally recruited to kick for Army and attended West Point for two weeks in 1991 before deciding to return home to South Dakota. He was a four-year letterman at South Dakota State University as a placekicker and punter. While there, he won two Division II titles and he finished up his college years as the school's all-time scoring leader with 185 career points.
In 1996, Vinatieri was signed by the Patriots as an undrafted free agent to be a place kicker. He played in New England for the first 10 years of his NFL career, during which he played in four Super Bowls, winning three. His first Super Bowl appearance was in his rookie season of 1996, when he played with the Patriots in their 35-21 loss to the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXI. One of his kickoffs in the Super Bowl was returned by Desmond Howard a Super Bowl record 99 yards for a touchdown. In the 2001 playoffs, during a blizzard against the Oakland Raiders in the final game at Foxboro Stadium, Vinatieri kicked a 45-yard field goal to tie the game 13-13 and send it into overtime. The Patriots won the game on another field goal of 23 yards by Vinatieri.
In Super Bowl XXXVI he kicked a 48-yard field goal on the final play to give the New England Patriots their first Super Bowl victory, a 20-17 win over the St. Louis Rams. Two years later, and in an almost identical situation, he kicked a 41-yard field goal with 4 seconds left in Super Bowl XXXVIII to boost the Patriots to another championship (after missing one field goal and having another attempt blocked in the first half). This time, the Patriots defeated the Carolina Panthers 32-29, making Vinatieri the first player ever to be the deciding factor in two Super Bowl games (Vinatieri kept the balls used on both of these kicks).
Vinatieri led the NFL in scoring in 2004 with 141 points (31-for-33 on field goals, and a perfect 48-for-48 on points after touchdown or PATs). His best game of the season came against the St. Louis Rams, against whom he scored 16 points (4 field goals, 4 PATs), and threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Troy Brown on a fake field goal attempt (that pass gives him a career passer rating of 122.9). He went on to score a field goal and three extra points in the Patriots 24-21 win over the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX.
By the time Vinatieri finished his final season with the Patriots in 2005, he had kicked 18 game-winning field goals with less than one minute remaining, including those mentioned in the postseason. At the conclusion of the 2005 season, he had a career field goal percentage of 81.9 percent (263/321), fifth highest in NFL history. His career long is 57 yards. In his time in New England, his community involvement included helping Christian athletes, D.A.R.E., and the Governor's Highway Safety Bureau. He was a spokesperson for the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island's teen anti-smoking contest, and also appeared in commercials for Boston-based pizza Papa Gino's. Vinatieri finished his 10 seasons with the Patriots as the team's all time leading scorer with 1,156 points. The Patriots have not re-issued Vinatieri's #4 since he left the team.
After the 2005 season, the Patriots chose not to place the franchise tag on Vinatieri as they had the year before, allowing him to become a free agent. He had visited with the Green Bay Packers, but left without a contract offer. On March 22, 2006, Vinatieri signed with the Indianapolis Colts, replacing Mike Vanderjagt who was signed by the Dallas Cowboys. Vinatieri was signed to a five-year contract and received a $3.5 million signing bonus.
"When the Colts called, I told my agent, `Let's not screw around,' " said Vinatieri, in his first extensive comments regarding his departure from New England. "I told him, 'If Indy is interested, let's get this done.'" ... Vinatieri said he has no regrets about not giving the Patriots a chance to counter the offer.
Vinatieri has had one kick blocked in the RCA Dome. With the New England Patriots, Vinatieri was perfect against the Colts in Indianapolis. In the second round of the 2006 AFC playoffs, Vinatieri kicked a playoff record-tying five field goals in the Colts' 15-6 upset of the favored Baltimore Ravens. The record of five field goals in a playoff game is one Vinatieri originally set himself against the Colts in the 2003 AFC Championship game.
The Colts reached Super Bowl XLI after defeating the Patriots in the AFC Championship game. It was Vinatieri's fifth Super Bowl appearance, and his first with the Colts. The Colts defeated the Chicago Bears by a score of 29-17. Vinatieri was 3 for 4 on field goals, and 1 for 2 on points after touchdowns, the miss when punter/holder Hunter Smith fumbled the snap on the extra-point attempt. He missed a 36 yard kick wide left at the end of the first half—the third time he has missed a kick in the Super Bowl. Although the Colts scored three touchdowns, the snap for the first point after was bobbled by the place holder, resulting in no kick. Super Bowl XLI was his fourth Super Bowl victory, one behind the record held by Charles Haley. Vinatieri finished the 2006-07 postseason with 49 total points and 14 field goals, both NFL records. He is the only player to have 3 or more field goals in 4 consecutive postseason games.
During the 2007 season, Vinatieri appeared in all 16 games and was 23-29 field goals (FGs) and 49-51 PATs for 118 points (both missed PATs were blocked). This season marked the 12th consecutive 100+ point season. He kicked his 20th career game-winning FG in the final minute of a 4th quarter or overtime with 24-yarder with :03 remaining vs. Kansas City on November 18, 2007. In the postseason that year, Vinatieri extended his NFL career post-season records in field goals (41), attempts (50), points (172) and consecutive games scoring (22).
During the 2008 season he appeared in 16 games and was 20-25 FGs and 43-43 PATs for 103 points, his 13th consecutive season with over (100+) points. He made a 47-yard game-winner with :03 remaining against Minnesota on September 14, the 21st of his career. He made a 52-yard FG vs. New England on November 2 with 8:05 remaining for deciding points in 18-15 victory and was named AFC Special Teams Player-of-the-Week. Later that month, on November 23, Vinatieri hit a game-winner with :00 remaining at San Diego. This 51 yarder was both his longest game-winning FG and the 22nd game-winning FG of career.
Vinatieri appeared in only 6 games for the Colts in 2009. In July 2009, Vinatieri had surgery on his right hip to alleviate a nagging injury, but the Colts expected that he would be ready for the season. However, Vinatieri struggled early in the season and complained of soreness in his knee. Doctors found loose cartilage in an MRI, and Vinatieri underwent arthroscopic surgery during the Colts' bye week. He was expected to miss 4–8 weeks while recovering. The Colts signed former Baltimore Ravens kicker Matt Stover to replace him. There was speculation over whether the Colts could cut Vinatieri, but Colts president Bill Polian stated that Vinatieri would return when he was 100% healthy. Vinatieri would remain injured for the entire 2009 regular season as well as throughout the Colts' postseason run to Super Bowl XLIV. Vinatieri did not play in Super Bowl XLIV, which the Colts lost to the New Orleans Saints.
The 2010 season showed a return to form after his injury-plagued 2009 season. Vinatieri continued to solidify his reputation as a kicker in the NFL. He appeared in 15 games that season. In the final game of the Regular Season in which the Colts claimed the AFC South title, he recorded his 23rd career game-winning kick in the final minute of regulation or overtime. After this final regular season game, Vinatieri was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for the second time in 2010 after receiving that honor after his performance against the Cincinnati Bengals on November 14. Some other noteworthy accomplishments for Vinatieri during 2010 include:
Became 12th kicker in NFL history to score 1,600 points in career.
Became the seventh kicker in NFL history to score 500 plus points with two different teams (501 with Colts; 1,156 with Patriots)
Connected on 26 of 28 field goals (92.9 percent) this season, the best percentage among NFL kickers that season with at least 20 attempts
On November 14 vs. Cincinnati surpassed Eddie Murray (who had 352 career FGs) for 11th-most FGs made in NFL history
His 129 points marked the second-most of his career. It marked the 14th time he surpassed 100 points in a season 
After being named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week two times during 2010, it marked twelve (12) times during his career (includes 8 times with the New England Patriots)
With 53 seconds left in the Colts' Wild Card playoff game against the New York Jets, Vinatieri kicked a 50-yard field goal, his third field goal of the game, to put the Colts ahead 16-14. The Jets later won the game, though, on a 32-yard field goal by Nick Folk as time expired to win 17-16.
These statistics are accurate as of January 12, 2012.
Most consecutive games in a single postseason with 3+ field goals: 4
Most points in postseason, career: 187
Most field goals in a single postseason: 14
Most field goals in Super Bowls: 7
Most extra points in Super Bowls: 13
Total points in a single postseason: 49 in 2006 (surpassing Terrell Davis' previous record of 48)
Most field goals in a single NFL postseason game: 5 (tied with six others); achieved twice, with the Patriots vs. the Colts in the 2003-04 AFC Championship, and with the Colts vs. the Baltimore Ravens in 2006
Vinatieri, his wife Valeri, and their two children, AJ and Allison, reside in Carmel, Indiana during the football season and Celebration, Florida during the off-season. He is the second of four children. His great-great grandfather was Felix Vinatieri, an Italian immigrant who served as Lt Col George Armstrong Custer's bandmaster. Adam Vinatieri has stated that Lt Col Custer told Felix Vinatieri to head back to camp instead of going ahead with the regiment to Little Big Horn, and that this decision saved his great-great grandfather's life. He is also a third cousin to the daredevil Evel Knievel and second cousin to scientist and author Tim Foecke. A collection of Felix Vinatieri manuscripts and instruments can be found at the National Music Museum located in Vermillion, South Dakota.