Patriots

Patriots teammates will miss 'all-time great' kicker Stephen Gostkowski

Patriots teammates will miss 'all-time great' kicker Stephen Gostkowski

FOXBORO -- Shortly after it was announced that the Patriots had placed Stephen Gostkowski on injured reserve, his teammates didn't hesitate to explain to anyone asking just how much the kicker has meant to the group inside the locker room.

"There are two guys here who've been my teammates for the entirety for my career and Steve is one of them," Matthew Slater said. "I think he's a guy who's always done his job and done it quietly and done it at a high level for a long time. He's always put this team first. Always been willing to do whatever it takes in order for this team to be successful. His approach has been tremendous. I've learned how to be a pro from watching Steve over the years. It's truly an unfortunate situation. We're obviously wishing him the best."

Gostkowski was drafted by the Patriots in 2006 and brought in to replace three-time Super Bowl champion and clutch-kick-maker extraordinaire Adam Vinatieri. All he's done since then is become the team's all-time leading scorer and last as Bill Belichick's kicker longer than Vinatieri did. He's attempted a whopping 107 more field-goal attempts than Vinatieri did as a member of the Patriots. Vinatieri made 81.9 percent of his regular-season field-goal attempts, while Gostkowski sits at 87.4 percent for his career in New England. 

"All-time great," Devin McCourty said. "I think because of Slate always being, like, the special teams captain, I think sometimes maybe the outside world doesn't know how much [Gostkowski] means to our unit and to us as a team. 

"Just for me, the stability at that position, we never waver when there's a kick on the line, kickoffs, playing against tough returners. Sometimes the best thing to stop a tough returner is Steve kicking the ball out of the end zone. He's meant a lot to this team obviously the whole time I've been here. Obviously you see a lot of that in the record books and all of that. He has a lot of records for this franchise. I always speak on how much he means to the locker room. Always keeping it light. He's the best at every little thing, tournaments we do in the locker room. He'll definitely be missed throughout the year just having his presence in there."

The Patriots are reportedly choosing between veteran free agent kicking options Kai Forbath and Mike Nugent to fill Gostkowski's role. But just as Gostkowski wasn't tasked with being Vinatieri -- and Shayne Graham wasn't tasked with being Gostkowski when Gostkowski got injured in 2010 -- the next Patriots kicker won't be expected to give them everything Gostkowski did.

"Whoever the next guy is that comes in here, he doesn't need to be Steve," Slater said. "He doesn't need to try to be Adam Vinatieri. He just needs to be himself. He'll be here for a reason. That reason will be that Coach Belichick thinks that he's going to give us the best chance to help this team win games. 

"We'll do whatever we can to support him, help him adjust. I know [punter] Jake [Bailey] and [long-snapper] Joe [Cardona] will do a good job of trying to get him acclimated to the operation as far as field goals are concerned. We'll take it one day at a time. Just like any of us, he's going to have to work at it one day at a time."

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Patriots rookie Chase Winovich surprises his mother with new car

Patriots rookie Chase Winovich surprises his mother with new car

Chase Winovich once promised his mother he'd buy her a new car. On Wednesday, he followed through with that promise.

The New England Patriots rookie bought his mom a 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata and showed it off on his Instagram.

Winovich also included a video of his mother's reaction to the big surprise, along with a caption that reads, "I can never repay you, but here’s a start. I love you mom."

Take a look below (click arrow to watch video).

Back in early October, Winovich was fined $7,000 for throwing the ball into the stands after scoring his first NFL touchdown. The 24-year-old defensive end wrote a message to his mom apologizing.

"Sorry mom for launching that new car I promised you into the stratosphere during my celebration! Love you!" he wrote.

Looks like that little mishap only delayed the purchase one month.

Winovich is excelling in his first year as a pro. The Patriots' third-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft has 4.5 sacks and 14 tackles through his first 10 games.

Finally being able to pay back his mother, of course, is his best highlight yet.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Report: Antonio Brown countersuing his first accuser, Britney Taylor

Report: Antonio Brown countersuing his first accuser, Britney Taylor

It looks like the next chapter of the Antonio Brown saga is going to be taking place in court.

According to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, Brown is filing a countersuit against Britney Taylor alleging "defamation" and "interference with his NFL contracts and endorsements."

Taylor accused Brown of sexual assault earlier this year. Brown was released by the Patriots about a week and a half after those allegations surfaced and he has remained unsigned since that time.

Brown recently met with the NFL to discuss Taylor's allegations, but no decision regarding his status has been made. 

That said, Brown is reportedly optimistic that he will play against in 2019.

Over the course of the past couple days, Brown has had his name resurface in connection to the New England Patriots.

It all started when Brown apologized to Patriots owner Robert Kraft in an Instagram post where Brown said he was sorry for "the bad media and the drama" that he brought to the Patriots. Tom Brady liked Brown's post and that started a discussion about whether Brady would want Brown to return to the team.

Brady and Bill Belichick both avoided talking much about Brown's apology in press conferences on Wednesday.

While the Patriots could use Brown's talent -- especially as they deal with injuries to receivers Mohamed Sanu and Phillip Dorsett -- it seems unlikely that they'll welcome him back to the team amid all of his legal trouble.

PERRY: Why Belichick cited Eisenhower when discussing preparation for Cowboys>>>

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.