The Colts are bringing back ageless wonder Adam Vinatieri for a silly 23rd NFL season

What is dead may not die, which is a really morbid way of saying that Adam Vinatieri will not be going away from football because the ageless kicker is returning to play for the Colts for one more season, at least.

The Colts are announcing the move on Thursday afternoon and Adam Schefter of ESPN reports it is a one-year deal for Vinatieri. 

That means Vinatieri will suit up for the Colts during his age 46 season, a remarkable achievement that will make him the fourth-oldest player in NFL history.

As colleague Jared Dubin noted yesterday, only George Blanda, Morten Anderson and John Carney can boast being older NFL players, with Blanda (48!), Anderson (47) and Carney (46) all playing in the league at a riper age. 

Vinatieri will actually turn 46 during the 2018 season, as his birthday is Dec. 28. He's really old for a football player -- he started kicking in 1996 and top draft prospect Saquon Barkley was BORN in 1997. 

And it's not inconceivable that he could continue to play a few more years: he's still kicking at a high level, having made 85.3 percent of his field goals during the 2017 season, a number that would have been higher had Vinatieri not been forced to kick in a blizzard for one game in Buffalo.

Only twice since 2009 has Vinatieri been below 80 percent on his field goals made. He is a remarkably consistent and durable player for the Colts. 

Also of interest: he will now have three more years with the Colts than he had with the Patriots, which feels impossible considering how many huge kicks he had in New England. But here we are: Vinatieri, Colts kicking legend. Interestingly, Vinatieri has gotten much more accurate on long kicks as he's gotten older, hitting 86.5 percent of his kicks from 50-plus yards for the Colts, versus just 81.9 percent of those kicks with the Patriots. Bill Belichick let him attempt only 17 kicks from 50 yards or more with New England in a full decade of kicking. Wild stuff. 

Vinatieri now needs 58 points in 2017 in order to pass Anderson for most points in NFL history -- Vinatieri is at 2,487 while Anderson's at 2,544. 

He hasn't had less than 25 field goals in his past four years with the Colts, which means it would be a pretty massive upset if Vinatieri didn't pass Anderson and cement his place in Canton during the 2018 season. Of course, you have to wait five years to actually get in the Hall of Fame, so it might be a full decade before Vinatieri gets in at this rate. It would hardly be surprising to see him still kicking well into the 2020s. 

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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