Patriots coach Bill Belichick praises Stephen Gostkowski in statement

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 04: Stephen Gostkowski #3 of the New England Patriots looks on prior to kicking a field goal during the second quarter against the Los Angeles Rams at Gillette Stadium on December 4, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

98.5 The Sports Hub staff report

With Stephen Gostkowski's release from the New England Patriots now official after 14 seasons with the organization, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick took a glowing statement to reflect on Gostkowski's career in Foxborough.

“I have had the privilege of coaching some of the best specialists in the NFL and Stephen Gostkowski is one of them," Belichick's statement began. "Stephen had many highlights over his 14 years as a Patriot and one of the most impressive was the way it began, when he succeeded the most accomplished kicker in NFL history. For some, this may have been too difficult a challenge. But from his rookie year, Stephen exuded a maturity and confidence that demonstrated he was up to the task. He made several crucial kicks his rookie year and established a top level of performance and consistency for years and years to come. Stephen is a great teammate who made outstanding contributions over a decade of championship football.”

The 36-year-old's release from the Patriots comes after a 2019 that saw him limited to just four games before undergoing season-ending hip surgery, and with makes on seven of his eight field goals, but misses in four of his 15 extra-point tries.

Overall, Gostkowski converted 374 of his 428 field goal attempts in his 204-game Patriots career, won three Super Bowl titles, was a Pro Bowler four times, and exits New England as the franchise's all-time leader in points (1,775).

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