Stephen Gostkowski is everything you would want in an NFL kicker.
Gostkowski has is a two-time All-Pro who has been named to four Pro Bowls, and earned two Super Bowl rings as a member of the New England Patriots. He has been a money kicker who’s connected on 87.4 percent of his tries in the regular season and 90.2 percent of his attempts in playoff games. It all sets him up to make bank in the offseason, but it’s not like that’s on his mind right now.
“That’s a good question, and I appreciate it, but I am just really focused on the game this weekend,” Gostkowski said when asked a question about re-signing with the Patriots, via Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. “We kind of have a thing, we don’t talk about the business side of stuff while we still have the season going on.”
Chicago’s kicking problems aren’t a secret to anyone. Even Gostkowski admitted to Biggs that he was aware of Cody Parkey’s mishaps in the kicking game. But with that said, it should come as no surprise that a kicker as accurate as Gostkowski is laser-focused on Sunday’s championship game. Should Gostkowski make it to free agency, we’ll be more inclined to take a deeper dive into him as an option.
As it stands, it’s still worth noting that the Boston Globe reported Gostkowski’s last contract from New England was a record deal that paid him $17.2 million over four years in an extension that dropped his cap number by approximately $1 million. And even at an advanced age, Gostkowski should still demand good coin from potential suitors.
The Patriots tend to reward their own players with favorable contracts. And even the ones who don’t get the most lucrative deals allow the team to find ways to be creative with contract structures, while some come return on cap-friendly deals for the sake of being on a winning team. New England has faced this exact situation with a popular and successful kicker on the cusp of free agency before, allowing Adam Vinatieri to walk away after his age 33 season in 2005. The Patriots replaced Vinatieri with Gostkowski and the rest is history. So while the chances of the Patriots allowing history to repeat twice are slim, there is a non-zero percent chance Gostkowski enters the market. And with that in mind, we’ll keep Gostkowski on the periphery until his situation gets settled.
Whether the Bears enter the running in a hypothetical situation where Gostkowski becomes a free agent remains to be seen. After all, the Bears are going to be up against it from a cap perspective after signing right tackle Bobby Massie to an extension before deciding the fate of safety Adrian Amos and nickel corner Bryce Callahan. Although, it’s not like the team has any other major needs, to the point where the only logical big-ticket item they could target in the market place is a place kicker. And since we know there is a need for an upgrade, Gostkowski’s status will be worth monitoring until he’s officially off the board.