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Free-Agent Setup: Indianapolis Colts close to re-signing Adam Vinatieri

By
Howard Balzer, The Sports Xchange
Indianapolis Colts place kicker Adam Vinatieri (4) reacts after kicking a 53-yard field goal against the Cincinnati Bengals during the second half of play in their NFL Wild Card Game on January 4, 2015 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. File photo by John Sommers II/UPI
Indianapolis Colts place kicker Adam Vinatieri (4) reacts after kicking a 53-yard field goal against the Cincinnati Bengals during the second half of play in their NFL Wild Card Game on January 4, 2015 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. File photo by John Sommers II/UPI | License Photo

The Indianapolis Colts were expected to head into the National Football League's free agency period with 14 unrestricted free agents.

Kicker Adam Vinatieri, however, is close to a one-year deal that should give him an opportunity to break a few more records along the way.

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According to media reports, nothing has been finalized but the nuts and bolts of a deal have been worked out. Vinatieri, 45, will be entering his 23rd NFL season and 13th with the Colts. He needs 58 points to supplant Morten Andersen as the league's all-time scorer. Vinatieri, who was successful on 86 percent of his field-goal attempts in 2017, also needs seven field goals to snap Andersen's mark of 565 career kicks. With Vinatieri taken care of, that leaves Indianapolis with 13 unrestricted free agents.

The UFA list includes wide receivers Donte Moncrief and Kamar Aiken; running backs Frank Gore and Christine Michael; center Mike Person; inside linebacker Jon Bostic; safety Darius Butler; cornerbacks Rashaan Melvin and Pierre Desir; guard Jack Mewhort; outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo; quarterback Scott Tolzien; and tight end Brandon Williams.

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RELATED Reports: Colts, Vinatieri agree to one-year deal

The club might part ways with Gore to allow the veteran running back to join a team that is closer to winning a Super Bowl. Mewhort is expected back while Moncrief remains a bit of a tossup. The Colts aren't expected to use the franchise or transition tags although that could change. Indianapolis will have approximately $80 million in cap space in which to negotiate with this offseason. General manager Chris Ballard, though, says that the Colts intend to be smart with their money.

"We won't pay a mid-tier player [top-tier] money," Ballard stresses.

RELATED Indianapolis Colts close to deal with kicker Adam Vinatieri

Unit-by-unit depth chart as of Super Bowl LII. Injured players listed as starters if that was their status when injured.

*Asterisk indicates player ended 2017 season on injured reserve.

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QUARTERBACKS (B): Starter -- *Andrew Luck. Backups - Jacoby Brissett, Brad Kaaya, Scott Tolzien (UFA), Phillip Walker.

RUNNING BACKS (B-minus): Starter - Frank Gore (UFA). Backups - Josh Ferguson, Marlon Mack, Matt Jones, *Christine Michael (UFA), *Robert Turbin, *George Winn.

TIGHT ENDS (B): Starter - Jack Doyle. Backups - Darrell Daniels, *Erik Swoope, Ross Travis, Jason Vander Laan, *Brandon Williams (UFA).

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WIDE RECEIVERS (B-minus): Starters - T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief (UFA). Backups - Kamar Aiken (UFA), Dres Anderson, K.J. Brent, *Krishawn Hogan, Seantavius Jones, Justice Liggins, Kolby Listenbee, Chester Rogers, James Wright.

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (C-plus): Starters - LT Anthony Castonzo, LG *Jack Mewhort (UFA), C *Ryan Kelly, RG Joe Haeg, RT Denzelle Good. Backups - C/G *Deyshawn Bond, C Mike Person (UFA), T Tyreek Burwell, G/T Le'Raven Clark, C Anthony Fabiano, G Mark Glowinski, T Andreas Knappe, G Jeremy Vujnovich, G Isaiah Williams.

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN (B-minus): Starters - DE *Henry Anderson, NT Al Woods, DT Johnathan Hankins. Backups - DT Johnathan Calvin, DE Margus Hunt, DE Anthony Johnson, NT Joey Mbu, DT Caraun Reid, DT Hassan Ridgeway, NT Grover Stewart.

LINEBACKERS (C): Starters - SLB *John Simon, MLB Antonio Morrison, ILB *Jon Bostic (UFA), Rush LB Jabaal Sheard. Backups - OLB Tarell Basham, ILB Jeremiah George, ILB Jermaine Grace, *Edwin Jackson (deceased), OLB Arthur Miley, OLB Josh Perry, OLB Barkevious Mingo (UFA), ILB Anthony Walker.

DEFENSIVE BACKS (C-plus): Starters - CB *Rashaan Melvin (UFA), SS Mathias Farley, FS *Malik Hooker, CB *Pierre Desir (UFA). Backups - S Clayton Geathers, S T.J. Green, CB Nate Hairston, S Darius Butler (UFA), S Ronald Martin, CB Kenny Moore II, CB Chris Milton, CB Denzel Rice, CB Quincy Wilson, CB D.J. White.

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SPECIAL TEAMS (A-minus): K Adam Vinatieri, P Rigoberto Sanchez, KOR/ PR Chester Rogers, LS Luke Rhodes.

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