Patriots releasing kicker Stephen Gostkowski

Patriots release two-time All-Pro kicker Stephen Gostkowski

New England Patriots release Pro Bowl kicker Stephen Gostkowski

The Patriots are reportedly releasing longtime kicker Stephen Gostkowski, according to Jim McBride of The Boston Globe. Nick Folk, who took over for Gostkowski in 2019, is a free agent.

After being drafted in 2006 out of Memphis, Gostkowski succeeded future Hall of Fame kicker Adam Vinatieri, and far exceeded expectations.

He was placed on injured reserve in October and underwent season-ending hip surgery.

Gostkowski and the Patriots agreed to a two-year, $8.5 million contract last year that included $3.7 million in guarantees; he was due to earn $3.5 million in base salary this season. Brady won six Super Bowl championships in New England, while Gostkowski played a part in three titles. His 87.4 percent field goal accuracy rate is the highest in Patriots history and fifth in National Football League history. In the postseason, he was 31-for-36 on field goals.

Gostkowski was a rock for New England, with enough leg to bite through the bitter weather in Foxboro in pivotal games in December and January.

"Steve Gostkowski's one of the greatest kickers of all time". He remains a free agent.

Gostkowski had the unenviable task of replacing Vinatieri, a franchise legend, but the club never missed a beat, and Gostkowski (who also was a scholarship pitcher at Memphis) rarely missed a kick.

At some point this offseason, the Titans need to address that situation. Working under the tutelage of Houston will undoubtedly benefit both player and team alike, and is why drafting a kicker makes more sense for the Patriots than signing one for 2020.

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