A mere couple hours after rumors began swirling that the 49ers were allegedly interested in signing the 35-year-old – who has been on the market a tad longer this offseason than initially expected – the Patriots beat them to the punch and re-signed their longtime kicker to a two-year deal this afternoon:
Patriots are re-signing kicker Stephen Gostkowski to a two-year deal, source tells ESPN.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 9, 2019
I really am surprised that it took this long, and at some point last week I honestly started to believe that maybe Gostkowski would be playing elsewhere in 2019 after 13 seasons and three Super Bowl victories with the Patriots.
Look, I know I’ve been a bit critical of Gostkowski in the past, especially coming off of what was one of his more down seasons in recent memory. He’s also missed some pretty big kicks in his career – including the 2015 AFC Championship and in three straight Super Bowls – and he doesn’t always seem to have the ice needed in his veins in the biggest moments.
But, to be fair, the dude is still one of the league’s best, and I am really happy with the move. Even saying he’s coming off a “down” year is a bit unfair, as he still hit over 84 percent of his attempts last season and has hit at least 91 percent of them in four of his last six seasons. Especially given how horrendous the state of kicking is nowadays, you’d be hard-pressed to find more guys than you can count on one hand who can still match up with Gostkowski. He also did hit two pretty big kicks in this past Super Bowl, which ended up being won by a mere 10 points.
Terms of the deal itself have still yet to be disclosed, but it’s obviously not going to be a huge hit in the pocket for the team. Regardless, in an offseason which saw a lot of familiar faces depart – players and coaches alike – this is a very welcomed signing.
Welcome back, No. 3.