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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
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    Will Vinatieri get a tag or ticket out of town?

    [size=18px]Will Vinatieri get a tag or ticket out of town? [/size]

    The Patriots have 11 days to decide whether to make kicker Adam Vinatieri their franchise player or let him join the team's free agents.

    01:00 AM EST on Sunday, February 12, 2006
    BY TOM E. CURRAN
    Journal Sports Writer


    Even though they were the team that built a better mousetrap for the new-era NFL, the Patriots find their reward is simply to keep doing it.

    The most immediate issue they face is with placekicker Adam Vinatieri -- the sport's ultimate closer. Vinatieri will be a free agent March 3 unless the team opts to apply the franchise tag to him again this year, as they did in 2005.

    Vinatieri doesn't know what New England has planned.

    "I haven't heard a word about anything," Vinatieri said from his offseason Florida home. "I figure it will be one of those things where, when they know, I'll know. I honestly try not to think about it. I've just left it as hopefully we get something done."

    The Patriots have until Feb. 23 -- 11 days from now -- to put the franchise tag on Vinatieri. But for a player such as Vinatieri, the franchise tag is onerous.

    Normally, a franchised player receives a one-year salary equal to the average of the top-five salaries at his position. But if the player already is the highest-paid at his position -- as Vinatieri is -- he gets a 20 percent raise over the previous season. Last year, Vinatieri's 20 percent raise gave him a salary of $2,509,000. If the Pats franchise him again, they'll pay him $3,010,800 in 2006.

    Asked whether he had an inkling on which way the Patriots would go, Vinatieri said: "I don't. That number gets pretty high, and I know that in the past they don't want to be at the top of the scale (for a position)."

    Perhaps more than any other position, the franchise tag favors a kicker as much as the team. Since the franchise tag is, in essence, a one-year contract with no signing bonus or guaranteed money, position players who get tagged are up the creek if they suffer a career-threatening injury. A franchised running back who blows out his knee or injures his neck would have gotten a nice one-year salary but lost his future earning potential.

    Kickers generally don't get in harm's way enough to be in that kind of peril. Still, a level of security is valued by any employee and -- after having been franchised twice since 2002 (the Pats tagged Vinatieri, then worked out a two-year deal soon after in early 2002) -- Vinatieri would prefer a long-term deal to getting tagged.

    Vinatieri is just one of several Patriots hitting free agency this offseason.

    Wide receiver David Givens, tackle Tom Ashworth, right guard Stephen Neal, wide receiver/punt returner Troy Brown and tight end Christian Fauria all hit the market, as well.

    A measure of hand-wringing accompanies every offseason, especially for a team as successful as New England. Players poised to leave have made contributions to championship seasons. Some repeatedly. The onus is on the Patriots' personnel department, headed by vice president of player personnel Scott Pioli, to look objectively at situations and make decisions bereft of emotion.

    Troy Brown, for instance, may be the best pure football player ever to play for the Patriots. He may epitomize everything this team's been about since early 2001. But who he is takes a backseat at this time of year to questions of value, upside and whether or not a better option exists.

    With Vinatieri, the Patriots are going to face a question of value. Do they want to franchise him at better than $3 million this season? Or do they have the temerity to let him hit the open market without an effort to sign him? If Vinatieri gets to free agency without New England making a run at getting him signed long-term, the chances of having to watch one of the NFL's greatest kickers using his right foot at another address will go sky-high.

    Vinatieri

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  2. #2
    gregair13's Avatar
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    Re: Will Vinatieri get a tag or ticket out of town?

    3million for a kicker? i dont care if we have all the cap room in the world, i would not want to pay that much for a stupid kicker.
    We're bringing purple back.

  3. #3
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    Re: Will Vinatieri get a tag or ticket out of town?

    I very much agree gregair. Interesting article but that's all it means to me.
    ;-)

  4. #4
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    Re: Will Vinatieri get a tag or ticket out of town?

    He won't get that much unless they Franchise him. If he hits the open market, and every other team lowballs him, then the Patriots may come in a little higher to get him back. I don't see them putting the Franchise Tag on him, unless they have no other options at K.

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    COJOMAY is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Will Vinatieri get a tag or ticket out of town?

    I'm NOT saying he's worth that price but think about how many games he's won for them.
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    Ltrey33 is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Will Vinatieri get a tag or ticket out of town?

    "gregair13" wrote:
    3million for a kicker? i dont care if we have all the cap room in the world, i would not want to pay that much for a stupid kicker.
    I can't believe you would say that after all of the troubles we've had with special teams. After Gary choking Anderson, Morten i can' kick over 30 yards Andersen, Jose Cortez, Aaron Elling, and Hayden Epstein you would say that a kicker isn't worth the money? Vinatieri has a HUGE leg, and he's clutch.

    How many Super Bowls would the Pats have won if they didn't have him? We're talking game winners in 2 of 3 games and not to mention the winner through the snow in the 'tuck rule' game. Plus, after watching Brown miss two field goals in the Super Bowl that would have changed the game and watching Vanderjagt miss the game tying field goal in the divisional playoffs, I don't understand how you can say it's a "stupid kicker". He'd be worth the money, IMO.

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    singersp's Avatar
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    Re: Will Vinatieri get a tag or ticket out of town?

    "ltrey33" wrote:
    "gregair13" wrote:
    3million for a kicker? i dont care if we have all the cap room in the world, i would not want to pay that much for a stupid kicker.
    I can't believe you would say that after all of the troubles we've had with special teams. After Gary choking Anderson.......
    Before you go off spouting about how poor Gary "choking" Anderson was as a kicker, let me point out that while we had him, he was a great kicker for us.

    One of the best.

    Here's his percentages as a MN Viking vs. Vinatieri;

    Name | FGS | PATS
    Anderson| 84.1% |98.8%
    Vinatieri | 81.9% |98.1%

    Enough said!

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  8. #8
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    Re: Will Vinatieri get a tag or ticket out of town?

    "gregair13" wrote:
    3million for a kicker? i dont care if we have all the cap room in the world, i would not want to pay that much for a stupid kicker.
    Kicker is the most underrated position on the field. To get a top kicker in the game I wouldn't mind paying some money. A good kicker can make or break a team... period.
    The best part of my day is when I get down on my knees, with my head in my hands, and thank GOD for everything he has given me.

  9. #9
    Ltrey33 is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Will Vinatieri get a tag or ticket out of town?

    "singersp" wrote:
    "ltrey33" wrote:
    "gregair13" wrote:
    3million for a kicker? i dont care if we have all the cap room in the world, i would not want to pay that much for a stupid kicker.
    I can't believe you would say that after all of the troubles we've had with special teams. After Gary choking Anderson.......
    Before you go off spouting about how poor Gary "choking" Anderson was as a kicker, let me point out that while we had him, he was a great kicker for us.

    One of the best.

    Here's his percentages as a MN Viking vs. Vinatieri;

    Name | FGS | PATS
    Anderson| 84.1% |98.8%
    Vinatieri | 81.9% |98.1%

    Enough said!
    I never said he was a bad kicker, he was a great kicker for us. He is the NFL's all time leader in points. He was perfect all of 1998, but that doesn't mean jack shit if he can't hit the big one, and he didn't. I just said he choked, and he did. That's part of being a kicker. Your legacy as a kicker is defined by the kicks you make and miss when the game is on the line. That's why Vinatieri is one of the best ever and Scott Norwood is a goat. So I was backing up my argument saying that a clutch kicker (which Vinatieri is) is important, and that he's worth 3 million dollars because he's reliable when you need him most.

  10. #10
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    Re: Will Vinatieri get a tag or ticket out of town?

    "ltrey33" wrote:
    "singersp" wrote:
    "ltrey33" wrote:
    "gregair13" wrote:
    3million for a kicker? i dont care if we have all the cap room in the world, i would not want to pay that much for a stupid kicker.
    I can't believe you would say that after all of the troubles we've had with special teams. After Gary choking Anderson.......
    Before you go off spouting about how poor Gary "choking" Anderson was as a kicker, let me point out that while we had him, he was a great kicker for us.

    One of the best.

    Here's his percentages as a MN Viking vs. Vinatieri;

    Name | FGS | PATS
    Anderson| 84.1% |98.8%
    Vinatieri | 81.9% |98.1%

    Enough said!
    I never said he was a bad kicker, he was a great kicker for us. He is the NFL's all time leader in points. He was perfect all of 1998, but that doesn't mean jack pooh if he can't hit the big one, and he didn't. I just said he choked, and he did. That's part of being a kicker. Your legacy as a kicker is defined by the kicks you make and miss when the game is on the line. That's why Vinatieri is one of the best ever and Scott Norwood is a goat. So I was backing up my argument saying that a clutch kicker (which Vinatieri is) is important, and that he's worth 3 million dollars because he's reliable when you need him most.
    "ltrey33" wrote:
    "gregair13" wrote:
    3million for a kicker? i dont care if we have all the cap room in the world, i would not want to pay that much for a stupid kicker.
    I can't believe you would say that after all of the troubles we've had with special teams. After Gary choking Anderson, Morten i can' kick over 30 yards Andersen, Jose Cortez, Aaron Elling, and Hayden Epstein you would say that a kicker isn't worth the money? Vinatieri has a HUGE leg, and he's clutch.

    How many Super Bowls would the Pats have won if they didn't have him? We're talking game winners in 2 of 3 games and not to mention the winner through the snow in the 'tuck rule' game. Plus, after watching Brown miss two field goals in the Super Bowl that would have changed the game and watching Vanderjagt miss the game tying field goal in the divisional playoffs, I don't understand how you can say it's a "stupid kicker". He'd be worth the money, IMO.


    Couldn't have said it better myself ltrey33. I agree on all points.
    Even babies know the difference.

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