By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Add kicker to the list of needs for the Patriots to fill this offseason. As reported by Jim McBride of the Boston Globe on Monday, the Pats are releasing longtime kicker Stephen Gostkowski.
Gostkowski, 36, began every season as the Patriots’ kicker starting as a rookie in 2006. The 2010 and 2019 seasons are the only ones where Gostkowski missed time. He kicked in four games in 2019 before season-ending hip surgery cut his campaign short.
In total, Gostkowski played 204 games as the team’s placekicker and primary kickoff man. He also kicked in 28 playoff games for the Patriots, converting field goals at an 88.6 percent rate (39-for-44) and hitting 95.7 percent of extra points.
After Gostkowski went down in 2019, the Patriots used veterans Mike Nugent, Kai Forbath, and Nick Folk in the kicker role. Folk finished the 2019 season with the Pats but is now an unrestricted free agent.
Cutting Gostkowski creates about $3 million in cap space for the Patriots, who are up against it after re-signing key free agents and absorbing a $13.5 million dead cap charge for the departed Tom Brady.
Barring a return from one of the aforementioned names, the Patriots will be in the market for a whole new kicker in 2020. They reportedly met with draft prospect Tyler Bass of Georgia Southern. Our own Alex Barth had the Patriots taking Bass in the sixth round in his first seven-round mock draft of the offseason.
Greg Zuerlein, former Patriot Adam Vinatieri, and XFL standout Taylor Russolino are among standouts in free agency if the Pats go that route.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at email@example.com.