Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots decided to waive veteran kicker Stephen Gostkowski after 14 years. Coach Belichick released a statement Thursday, honoring the longtime kicker.
In his statement, Belichick praised Gostkowski as one of the best specialists in the entire league. Belichick was impressed with the veteran’s achievements throughout his lucrative career. He was a Patriot for 14 years, and the team will miss his contribution to the game. Sadly, 2019 wasn’t his best year. Gostkowski struggled on the field, and his struggles probably played a big role in this decision.
Gostkowski’s rookie campaign and his over-the-top performance. The kicker had a
consistent performance throughout the years, and he never failed the team. For
Belichick, Gostkowski is an excellent teammate who contributed to the game for
“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 read. “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 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.”
Bill Belichick will have to find another Stephen Gostkowski
Gostkowski missed the last season after having his hip surgery.
New England used three kickers on the field, but none of them was able to fit in the void. Mike Nugent, Nick Folk, and Kai Forbath saw some action with the Pats. Belichick also gave Younghoe Koo and Josh Gable a chance to earn a spot on the roster. It didn’t work for either of them.
With Gostkowski out of
the equation, New England freed less than $1 million in salary-cap space. This will
give them a chance to go after another target. The team doesn’t have a
placekicker on the roster. Belichick may use punter Jake Bailey for the kickoff
part of the game.
This was a rather
challenging offseason for the Pats. They lost Tom Brady, Gostkowski and many
others in free agency. How will the great coach replace his talented players?
He may find a good kicker, but he will never find another Tom Brady. Simple as