The New England Patriots have decided to move on without their long-time kicker Stephen Gostkowski. He spent 14 seasons with the team before being released yesterday.
The Patriots made this decision to help them create more salary-cap space but the void at the position will not be easy to fill. Gostkowski actually missed the entire 2019 season with a left hip injury that required surgery.
The veteran kicker was the Patriots’ longest-tenured player once quarterback Tom Brady signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week. He was scheduled to make $4.8 million in the upcoming season but the Patriots needed the money to bring in new players and decided to release him because of it. They currently do not have a kicker on the roster with veteran Nick Folk still on the market. Tom Brady did a wonderful tribute to his former teammate with this social media post:
With his departure from the team, special-teamer Matthew Slater is the longer-tenured player still on the Patriots. He re-signed with the Patriots recently:
“I definitely feel like my family and I thought about it a lot. I still love to play and want to continue to play. I guess as of now, I want to keep playing. We just have to see how things go from here. There are a lot of things up in the air that I don’t know, but I’m going to approach it as though I’m preparing to play next year. We’ll kind of go from there. That’s where we’re at.
“I think I’ve expressed several times my desire to play the entirety of my career (in New England). When you play 12 years in one location, it’s hard for you to imagine playing anywhere else. I’ve certainly expressed that publicly. I’ve expressed that privately. But again, ultimately, sometimes that decision isn’t always in your hands. We’ll see how things go moving forward.”
Slater signed a two-year contract with the Patriots, similar to the one he has previously.