Patriots

Here are the longest-tenured Patriots after Tom Brady, Stephen Gostkowski exits

Here are the longest-tenured Patriots after Tom Brady, Stephen Gostkowski exits

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.

Click here for complete Tom Brady coverage and download the MyTeams App for the latest news and analysis.

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.

Patriots sign special teams standout Cody Davis

Buccaneers GM on Rob Gronkowski: 'I have no idea if he'd want to play'

Buccaneers GM on Rob Gronkowski: 'I have no idea if he'd want to play'

Now that Tom Brady has left the New England Patriots to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in NFL free agency, the dreams and speculation of Rob Gronkowski potentially returning to pro football have moved south to Florida.

Many Patriots fans hoped the former tight end would come out of retirement and join the team for the 2019 season, but it never happened. The Patriots never found any adequate replacements for the future Hall of Famer, and as a result, tight end was a position of weakness for them last season. Benjamin Watson, Ryan Izzo and Matt LaCosse were unable to provide any consistent offensive production in the passing game.

Download the MyTeams app for the latest Patriots news and analysis

Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht was asked about Gronkowski during a media conference call Thursday. Here's what he said, per ESPN's Jenna Laine:

Licht is right when he notes the Patriots retain Gronkowski's rights. For him to return to football and leave the Patriots, the team would have to trade him or release him. Gronkowski can't just unretire and sign with the Bucs.

Listen and subscribe to Phil Perry's Next Pats Podcast here: 

It also should be noted that, unlike the Patriots, the Bucs aren't exactly in need of another tight end. Sure, Gronkowski could probably still be an effective player at 30 years old, but O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate currently give Tampa Bay a solid 1-2 punch at tight end.

Howard, in particular, should benefit greatly from Brady's arrival in Tampa Bay. He was a 2017 first-round draft pick, and similar to Gronkowski, he has good speed for a tight end with impressive size (6-foot-6 and 251 pounds). Howard has shown flashes of top-tier talent, but he hasn't yet displayed it on a consistent basis. Brady's history of success targeting tight ends bodes well for Howard having a breakout campaign in 2020.

Gronkowski and Brady had a legendary connection with the Patriots, but between the Bucs' current tight end situation and Gronk's busy career away from football -- he recently won a WWE title belt -- it's hard to envision any more touchdown passes will be thrown from No. 12 to No. 87.

Patriots WR Julian Edelman won't be prosecuted for vandalism charge

Patriots WR Julian Edelman won't be prosecuted for vandalism charge

It looks like Julian Edelman got a little lucky.

The Patriots wide receiver will not be prosecuted for the misdemeanor vandalism charge filed against him in January, according to a report shared by ESPN's Mike Reiss. 

Edelman was arrested in Beverly Hills for jumping on the hood of a car one week after the Patriots 20-13 loss to the Tennessee Titans in wild-card action. 

The 33-year-old was scheduled to appear in court on April 13, but the owner of the vehicle stated that all damages had been paid for and he doesn't wish to press charges.

Download the MyTeams app for the latest Patriots news and analysis

"The owner of the vehicle has informed the DA's Office that he does not want the arrestee to be prosecuted for the proposed vandalism charge," the official filing said, according to Reiss. "The arrestee has no known criminal history. Case filing declined in the interests of justice."

Edelman had been out to dinner with former Patriot Danny Amendola and former Boston Celtics star Paul Pierce before the incident occurred.