The best and most accomplished free agent kicker isn’t leaving New England.
Patriots are re-signing kicker Stephen Gostkowski to a two-year deal, source tells ESPN.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 9, 2019
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports the Patriots are re-signing Stephen Gostkowski to a two-year contract. This deal keeps the third most accurate kicker in league history with the only team he has ever known and leaves Bill Belichick’s highly valued kicking intact for another season. Lucky guy, that Belichick.
The report of the two sides coming to a deal came after the San Francisco 49ers reportedly showed an interest in signing Gostkowski. As we explained in an earlier post exploring the rumor, Robbie Gould has yet to sign his Franchise tag tender and it has the Niners exploring possible backup plans in case Gould chooses not to sign. San Francisco’s interest in Gostkowski and Gould having not signed his tender allowed us to explore why the Bears would monitor the situation.
This is what we wrote:
If the 49ers do eventually sign Gostkowski, they could lift the Franchise tag off Gould and make him an unrestricted free agent. From there, Gould could negotiate with any of the teams in search of a kicker and sign anywhere. Of course, even if San Francisco pulled the trigger on signing Gostkowski, the team could still keep Gould with the intent of trading him to an interested team in need of a kicker. In other words, that’s a lot of “ifs” and “coulds,” so just keep that in mind, when you begin considering these rumors.
The dreams of Gould’s return to Chicago can (mostly) be put to rest (again) now that Gostkowski isn’t signing with the 49ers. Further, Gostkowski’s return to New England thins out an already uninspiring list of free agent kickers. Matt Bryant (who we profiled earlier in the offseason), Kai Forbath, Sebastian Janikowski, and Phil Dawson are the most notable names who have yet to be signed. We’ll keep an eye on where those kickers land, especially if San Francisco doesn’t get Gould to sign on the dotted line.