The New England Patriots are off to great changes this offseason. First, the team lost quarterback Tom Brady in free agency. Brady isn’t the only veteran to leave the Pats. New England parted ways with veteran kicker Stephen Gostkowski after 14 years. Brady decided to honor Gostkowski and delivered a nice message for his former teammate.
Brady left the Patriots after 20 seasons, and fans can’t get over the loss. It hurts, even more, to know that this wasn’t the only loss. The longtime kicker cut ties with the Pats after a 14-year tenure with the team.
Brady is well aware of the importance Gostkowski had for the post-Adam Vinatieri Pats. He took to his Instagram account to salute his former teammate. The Patriots released Gostkowski on Monday.
“An amazing player and friend!” Brady wrote on Instagram and shared a photo of him and the kicker.
Brady sets an example for Gostkowski
Tom left the Patriots after two decades and signed a deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He agreed to sign a two-year deal with the team worth $60 million. Brady is also protected from trades and changes in the contract. Gostkowski is a free agent at this point.
Gostkowski was the Patriots’ fourth-round draft pick in 2006. He stepped instead of Super Bowl hero Adam Vinatieri. He saw action in six Super Bowls of his own and won three rings. The kicker turned out to be one of the most accurate kickers in league history. He has 87.4 percent career success rate on field goals and ranks fifth all-time. Gostkowski’s 1,775 points are the most by any kicker New England has ever had.
The kicker hit free agency as the Patriots’ second-longest tenured player right behind the GOAT. Brady and Gostkowski are out of Foxboro now, so special teamer Matthew Slater (since 2008) owns the distinction at the moment.
New England saw a lot of changes this week, and fans will need time to get used to the new situation. Losing Brady was a big blow for the Patriots nation. Losing another veteran is another blow for the storied organization. Head coach Bill Belichick will have to replace both his veterans this free agency.