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INDIANAPOLIS — Adam Vinatieri will still be the NFL’s oldest active player next season.The 46-year-old kicker and the Indianapolis Colts have agreed to a new deal Jahlani Tavai Jersey , general manager Chris Ballard announced Friday on 1070 The Fan, the radio station that broadcasts the team’s games. Terms of the deal were not immediately available.But it was hardly a surprise. The day after Indy’s season ended with a divisional-round loss to Kansas City, Vinatieri said he would “probably” be back for his 24th season in the league. And if all goes as planned, the NFL’s career scoring leader might still be adding to his record total of 2,600 a while longer.“There are no guarantees for any of us that there’s a next day, a next year, anything. I’ve kind of always prepared myself thinking that way,” Vinatieri said last month after noting he’d like to play 10 more seasons. “There are no guarantees, and when you get to my age, you’re absolutely right, your days are numbered.”The four-time Super Bowl champion has showed no signs of slowing down.He made 23 of 27 field goal attempts last season and finished with 113 points �? extending his league record to 21 100-point seasons.But that’s just part of Vinatieri’s resume.In September, he broke Morten Andersen’s league record for field goals made and needs 10 more to become the first player with 700 field goals. In October, he broke Andersen’s NFL scoring record. In December, he became the fourth player in league history to participate in a game at age 46.100<button class="view-gallery">View Gallery</button> Gallery:View from the sidelines: NFL cheerleaders 2018Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports | Raj MehtaHis 32 career playoff games are second all-time, behind former teammate Tom Brady Will Harris Jersey , and he’s the only player to score 1,000 points with two different franchises �? Indy and New England.Yet somehow Vinatieri and his white beard seem like a perfect fit in this young locker room.“He seems like he’s the same age he was when I first came in here and I guess that’s been eight years,” left tackle Anthony Castonzo said earlier this month. “That’s pretty impressive, eight years, going through your early 40s that you don’t really seem any older. I’m always impressed with how he’s able to hang out with the young guys and be one of the guys despite being old enough to be one of our dads.”Andrew Luck added: “Vinny is the best. I love him.”And there are more milestones ahead for Vinatieri if he stays healthy.His next game played will be No. 354, breaking a tie with Gary Anderson for second on the career list, and if he’s still kicking after he turns 47 in late December, Vinatieri would join Andersen and George Blanda as the only 47-year-olds to play in a game.But Ballard saw another reason to bring back the league’s oldest player for another season.“Do I think he can still kick in this league and be a really good kicker? Absolutely I do,” Ballard said Jan. 14 in his season-ending news conference. “He is as important a guy in that locker room as anyone. I don’t know if I have been around a special teams player that has as much impact as Adam does in the locker room. From a positive standpoint, all of our young guys that come in get to see Adam Vinatieri work, rehab, prepare his body every year, be a pro, handle the hard times, handle the good times. I mean all of that Austin Bryant Jersey , what Adam brings, brings a lot of value to this team.”
SAN DIEGO — You could call it a homestand. But for the Padres, it’s a chance to get a fresh set of clothes before hitting the road again.

The Padres return from a 10-game road trip Tuesday to host the Oakland A’s for two games at Petco Park before hitting the road again for seven more road games until they come back home on June 29.

“We’ll learn a lot about ourselves in June,” Padres manager Andy Green said before departing San Diego for the first 10 games, which the Padres split.

The Padres are expected to send rookie left-hander Eric Lauer (3-4, 6.20 ERA) Tuesday night to face Oakland right-hander Paul Blackburn (1-1, 11.05) in a match of former first-round draft picks.

The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Blackburn, 24, was the 56th overall pick of the Chicago Cubs as a supplemental pick in the 2012 draft. The 6-foot-3, 227-pound Lauer, 22, was the 25th overall pick of the Padres in the 2016 draft.

Lauer and Blackburn will be facing the other team for the first time in their brief major league careers.

Lauer will be making his 11th start, with all coming this season, and tis will be Blackburn’s 13th start. He was 3-1 with a 3.22 ERA in 10 starts last year and is 4-2 overall with a 4.09 ERA.

Blackburn was reinstated from the 60-day disabled list on June 7 after being out since spring training with a right forearm strain. He was 0-3 with a 6.75 ERA in six games Rashan Gary Jersey , including three starts, this spring before being placed on the 10-day disabled list March 28. He was transferred to the 60-day disabled list on April 5. He was activated after one rehab start.

Blackburn was the losing pitcher in his last start, a 13-5 A’s loss to Houston in Oakland. He gave up eight runs, eight hits and two walks in 1 1/3 innings.

Lauer has lowered his ERA in four of his last five starts. During that span, he has allowed 12 runs, 32 hits and 11 walks with 22 strikeouts in 24 innings for a 4.50 ERA. Before that, Lauer had an 8.14 ERA after his first five starts.

He has blown hot-and-cold in his last five starts. On May 28, he allowed five runs and seven hits in 2 1/3 innings. Two starts ago, he issued seven walks in five innings. He didn’t walk a hitter in his most recent start.

“Lauer has to trust his fastball,” Green said recently. “It’s had better carry, better life in his past two starts than it had earlier in the year. He’s attacking better with it. Those are positives. The fastball is his main weapon. But he’s dropped in some off-speed pitches that have kept people off balance.

“His velocity has been up a little bit. He’s done a nice job preparing himself for those starts. Those are probably the biggest things I’ve seen. He’s still searching for that secondary pitch he can rely on consistently. I think when he finds that, he’s going to turn the corner and move really quickly.”
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