Stephen Gostkowski

Kicker Stephen Gostkowski excited to remain with Patriots: 'I love it here'

Kicker Stephen Gostkowski excited to remain with Patriots: 'I love it here'

Stephen Gostkowski has been the starting kicker for the New England Patriots since his rookie season in 2006, making him the second-longest tenured player on the team behind 41-year-old quarterback Tom Brady.

Gostkowski became an unrestricted free agent soon after the Patriots won Super Bowl LIII over the Los Angeles Rams in February, and he even reportedly drew interest on the open market from the San Francisco 49ers. He ultimately re-signed with New England on a two-year contract worth a reported $8.5 million to remain in Foxboro.

The 35-year-old kicker recently explained to ESPN's Mike Reiss how difficult it would have been to leave the Patriots as a free agent.

"You have to make decisions based on a multitude of factors, and every time I thought of what it would be like somewhere else, I always came back to how much I love it here. It's a weird business, and you have to explore every option, but it was really tough for me to think I was ever going to leave. I'm excited it worked out and just thankful for another opportunity to have a crack at playing for the Patriots."

Gostkowski has won three Super Bowl championships (in six appearances) with the Patriots. His second field goal late in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LIII clinched a 13-3 victory. Gostkowski also is one of the most accurate kickers in NFL history and ranks third all-time in field goal percentage.

The Patriots re-signed punter Ryan Allen to a one-year contract earlier in the offseason. New England values special teams more than any franchise in the league, and the return of Gostkowski and Allen will help maintain the stability of that group.

The Patriots also don't need to target a kicker in the upcoming 2019 NFL Draft now that Gostkowski is back in the fold. They can shift even more attention to the weak spots on the roster, most notably at tight end. The Patriots have 12 picks in the 2019  draft, including six over the first three rounds.

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Patriots, kicker Stephen Gostkowski agree to two-year contract

Patriots, kicker Stephen Gostkowski agree to two-year contract

The New England Patriots won't have to find a new kicker before the 2019 NFL season. 

UPDATE (Tuesday, April 9 at 9:25 p.m. ET): ESPN's Adam Schefter has reported the terms of Gostkowski's two-year deal.

--End of Update--

Adam Schefter reported Tuesday, citing a source, that the Patriots are re-signing kicker Stephen Gostkowski to a two-year contract. NBC Sports Boston's Tom E. Curran confirmed the report.

Earlier Tuesday, a report surfaced that the San Francisco 49ers were "showing interest" in Gostkowski, who was an unrestricted free agent. 

Gostkowski is one of the most accurate kickers in league history, and his 87.38 percent field goal rate ranks third-best all-time.

The veteran kicker is the second-longest tenured Patriots player behind quarterback Tom Brady. The Patriots drafted Gostkowski in the fourth round (pick No. 118) of the 2006 NFL Draft out of Memphis. 

Gostkowski has played for three Super Bowl-winning teams in New England. He went 2-for-3 on field goal attempts in the Patriots' win over the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII in February.

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NFL Rumors: 49ers eyeing kicker Stephen Gostkowski in free agency

NFL Rumors: 49ers eyeing kicker Stephen Gostkowski in free agency

The New England Patriots aren't just competing against Stephen Gostkowski's agent, it appears.

The San Francisco 49ers are "showing interest" in the free-agent kicker, NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco reported Tuesday, citing a league source.

Our Tom E. Curran reported in March that Gostkowski and the Patriots had made progress on a new contract in free agency, but money reportedly is a sticking point between the two sides, and it appears New England now has outside competition.

The Niners are a surprising candidate for Gostkowski, considering they just used the franchise tag on veteran kicker Robbie Gould, who made a career-high 97.1 percent (33 of 34) of his field goal attempts last season.

Gould and the 49ers have failed to agree to terms on a long-term extension, though, and San Francisco still could rescind its tag on Gould if it wants to add the 35-year-old Gostkowski.

The Patriots have made a few minor moves to clear up additional cap space in recent weeks, so perhaps they'll be able to make Gostkowski an acceptable offer and keep the longtime kicker in New England before other teams come calling.

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