The one-year deal isn't an indication that the place-kicker plans to retire at the end of next season. If all goes well, Vinatieri is leaving the door open to signing another contract at this time next year.
"If I can stay healthy and be productive, I can anticipate catching up to Morten [Andersen] midseason and at the end of the year I'll be 46," Vinatieri said. "I'm not putting anything out of reach. I'm not looking and saying, 'No way.' I just want to help our team be as productive as possible this year and if everything works out well, we'll be having this conversation again next year."
Vinatieri's one-year deal is worth $3.625 million -- $1 million to sign and a $2.625 million base salary -- a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter
Vinatieri is only 58 points shy of passing the Hall of Famer Andersen (2,544) for the top spot on the NFL's career scoring list. Vinatieri has scored at least 58 points in every season of his career, except 2009, when he played in only six games. He also only needs to make seven field goals to break Andersen's record of 565.
"I know I'm 58 points away," Vinatieri said. "It's definitely within reach this year if I stay healthy. I really wanted to break that record wearing a Colts helmet where I've played the majority of my career. It's unbelievable to be able to play another season here."
Colts general manager Chris Ballard called Vinatieri "one of the best players in NFL history" in the statement announcing his re-signing. Owner Jim Irsay also tweeted his excitement at getting Vinatieri re-signed.
Thrilled to have pre-Hall-of-Famer Adam "The G.O.A.T." Vinatieri signed!— Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) February 22, 2018
Vinatieri will be the kicker for a 2018 Colts squad that will be led by new coach Frank Reich, who was still playing quarterback in the NFL when Vinatieri made his debut in 1996. Vinatieri said the hiring of Reich this month and Ballard in January 2017 played a part in wanting to re-sign with the Colts, who have missed the playoffs three straight years.
Vinatieri spent his first 10 seasons with the New England Patriots and the past 12 with the Colts. He won three Super Bowl rings with New England and one with Indianapolis.
"The last couple of years of not making the playoffs and stuff was a real frustration," Vinatieri said. "I wanted to play on a team that I felt we could get back to the playoffs. Everybody's first and foremost goal should be playing on a championship team, winning a Super Bowl. I felt like with the decisions of bringing Chris Ballard and the changes he's made last year and moving forward this year, to me felt like we were moving in the right direction.
"I look at this as a team that can make the playoffs moving forward. That was a big decision for me. I clearly wanted to stay in Indy."
Vinatieri will get a $250,000 bonus if he makes 88 percent of his field goal attempts next season. He missed out on $500,000 each of the past two seasons after failing to make 90 percent of his field goal attempts. Two of his misses came in blizzard-like conditions in Buffalo last season.
"Assuming we're not playing in a crazy Buffalo blizzard and stuff like that, maybe we'll hit the incentive this year," he said.