The New England Patriots’ locker room will miss plenty of familiar faces in 2020. Following the departure of quarterback Tom Brady and several other players in free agency, Pats now also said goodbye to their longtime kicker Stephen Gostkowski.
Patriots confirmed on Monday that they released Gostkowski, who will leave the franchise after 14 years.
According to reports, Patriots opted to release Gostkowski, who was the longest-tenured player on the roster after Brady left, in order to give themselves some salary-cap relief. The 36-year-old was scheduled to earn $4.8 million next season.
New England is projected to have the second-least cap space for 2020 NLF season, with only Super Bowl champions Kansas City Chiefs having less. Pats’ cap struggles are mostly the result of dead money originating from the contracts of players that are not on their roster, including Brady, Antonio Brown, and Michael Bennett.
Patriots drafted Stephen Gostkowski in the fourth round of 2006 NFL Draft with the intention to make him Adam Vinatieri’s successor. Gostkowski responded to the task exceptionally, proving to be clutch in deciding moments and helping New England win three more Super Bowls.
Gostkowski, who has four Pro Bowl appearances, will leave New England Patriots as the team’s all-time leading scorer with 1,775 points. During his time with the franchise, he made 374 out of 428 field goals attempted while converting 98% of his extra points. In the playoffs, he was 31-for-36 on FGs and 79-for-83 on extra points.