If the New York Jets truly want to end their franchise-worst 11-year playoff drought then they’ll have to explore every possible avenue to get better.
One direction they could pursue is an outside-the-box strategy to lure a proven player off of the couch. General manager Joe Douglas has done it successfully once before, perhaps he can go back to the well in 2022.
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It Is so Crazy, It Might Just Work
On I’m Just Saying with Brian Mazique the topic of which recently retired player could you see coming back to join the Jets?
Several names were thrown around, but one that made a lot of sense was a longtime placekicker and former member of the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts, Adam Vinatieri.
“If you ever want to talk about a position that is primed for a player to come out of retirement, the kicker is probably the easiest sell,” Brian Mazique answered the pressing question on the show. “You have guys like Adam Vinatieri who is like 83 years old. He is an option you have to look at.”
Vinatieri is actually only 49 years old, but I can understand the confusion.
He announced his retirement from the NFL back in May of 2021 after an unbelievable 24 seasons in the pros. When Vinatieri made that official, he set several records:
- NFL’s all-time leading scorer
- Last active player that had played in the 1990s
- Last to play before Tom Brady
Interestingly enough he is second to only Morten Anderson in games played with 365. If he were to return and join the Jets in 2022, Vinatieri would have a chance to tie Anderson’s record of 382 in a 17 game season.
Some Potential Smoke to That Fire
During a conference call with Jets season ticket holders, head coach Robert Saleh was asked about the kicker position.
“There’s also going to be some competition that’s brought in [because] you’re right, that position is very important and can’t be understated, and when you find a good one you gotta hold on to him for dear life. But we like the way Eddy Pineiro finished the season and bringing in some competition will be a definite topic for this offseason.”
The 26-year-old phenom was fantastic with the Jets last year. He went 8-for-8 in his five games with the team and showed glimpses of a long-term future.
Although the main concern is his limited sample size. Pineiro has only suited up in 21 career games and his most recent stint with the Jets was the first time he played football since 2019 with the Chicago Bears.
If that is a legitimate concern for the coaching staff, then bringing in a veteran in every sense of the word in the form of Vinatieri would be fantastic.
He is arguably the greatest placekicker of all time and could provide some stability for the first time in a long time:
- Four-time Super Bowl champion
- Most consecutive field goals made (44)
- Most career field goals made (599)
- Most career points (2,673)
Vinatieri hasn’t given any public indication that he is currently considering coming out of retirement, but if you’re the Jets it wouldn’t hurt to call.
Coming off of the couch to kick field goals is the most realistic ask of any player coming out of retirement. Any other position this is probably a pipedream, but maybe this particular scenario could be willed into existence.