The New England Patriots are losing quite a bit of experience this offseason.
After losing their starting quarterback of the last 20 years, Tom Brady, to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in NFL free agency last week, the Patriots reportedly released longtime kicker Stephen Gostkowski on Monday.
Gostkowski was drafted by the Patriots in 2006 and had been their starting kicker ever since. His last appearance for the Patriots came in a Week 4 win over the Buffalo Bills last year. He underwent season-ending hip surgery soon after.
Brady (2000) and Gostkowski (2006) were the two longest-tenured players on the Patriots roster. Brady won six Super Bowl championships in New England, while Gostkowski played a part in three titles. His field goal late in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LIII helped seal the Pats' sixth title two years ago.
Here's an updated look at the longest-tenured Patriots players following the departures of Brady and Gostkowski.
2008: Matthew Slater
2009: Julian Edelman
2010: Devin McCourty
2011: Marcus Cannon
2012: Dont'a Hightower, James Develin
Two players who could've been on this list are safety Patrick Chung and running back Brandon Bolden. Chung was drafted by the Patriots in 2009 but left to sign with the Philadelphia Eagles after the 2012 season. He spent just one year in Philly before returning to New England for the 2014 campaign. Bolden joined the Patriots in 2012, left to sign with the Miami Dolphins for the 2018 season, then returned last year.
The 2020 season will be the first since 2011 in which Brady is not the oldest player on the roster. Matthew Slater and reported quarterback signing Brian Hoyer now share that title at 34 years old.