Found March 21, 2014 on cover32 - Patriots:
While kickers rarely get the glory or spotlight on the NFL field, their scoring presence is undeniable. Consistency on special teams can make or break teams, and the Patriots have benefited from two exceptional place kickers during the last 14 years. Other specialists are already in place; the Patriots found a gem in Ryan Allen last year, and substituting Zoltan Mesko for the rookie out of Louisiana Tech was another bold and well executed move by Bill Belichick. Just recently, the Patriots resigned long-snapper Danny Aiken, their lone restricted free agent, and brought in Charley Hughlett to provide backup and/or competition. The Patriots should have only one other base to cover in terms of specialists: extend Stephen Gostkowski and make him a life-long Patriot. Gostkowski joined the organization in 2006 after the departure of Patriots legend, Adam Vinatieri. He was the only rookie kicker to make an NFL roster after being drafted 118th out of Memphis, and only one of two kickers drafted. After beating out Martin Gramatica in the preseason for the starting job, Gostkowski solidified his role with the Patriots and has never faced any other competition. He is one of two NFL players to score 500 points in his first four seasons, and he has led the league in scoring three times (2008, 2012 and 2013). The two-time Pro Bowler has played all 16 games each season except for the 2010 season, when he was placed on the IR for a thigh injury after 8 games. This year, only Justin Tucker converted as many field goals as Gostkowski (38) and he posted a career high and league leading 158 points. Gostowski scored 5 points in every game in 2011, and memorably took over punting duties when Ryan Allen hurt his collarbone in the AFC Divisional game against the Colts last season, averaging 41.8 yards per punt. He had never punted in an NFL game before. The statistics go on and on. What we know is this: Gostkowski is one of the most consistent, accurate and highest scoring kickers in NFL history. In 2010 he signed a four-year extension at $14 million with $5 million guaranteed. He has $3.8 million cap charge this season and is only 30 years old. With some kickers still performing close to age 40, Stephen deserves to be resigned, and the move could open up some cap space for the Patriots to continue this excellent free-agency spree. There are still holes to be plugged at defensive tackle and the interior offensive line and the Patriots could do themselves a huge service by extending Gostkowski for another 4 years. With opportunities to release Adrian Wilson and restructure the contracts of veterans Dan Connolly and Vince Wilfork, the Patriots could still make some important moves in free agency. Hard work is rewarded on this team, and no one deserves an extension right now more than Stephen Gostkowski. You may also be interested in:The case for making Stephen Gostkowski a lifelong New England PatriotDid any New England Patriots make the 10 most ridiculous mugshots in NFL history?Is DeSean Jackson a good fit for the New England Patriots?
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Rob Gronkowski claims Tom Brady is the best actor on the New England Patriots

The hype for the upcoming Entourage movie continues to swirl. In classic Entourage fashion “the boys” have recruited a handful of NFL stars to film cameos for the star-studded affair. Expect to catch the movie in theaters next Summer, until then enjoy Rob Gronkowski’s hilarious candid interview. TMZ caught up with Gronk after he finished filming his scene with fellow Patriot...

Weekly Rewind: Darrelle Revis, lingering defenive needs, and Entourage

This past week in New England was relatively calm compared to the free-agent frenzy of last week. Here at cover32 we took the downtime to analyze some of the team signings with more depth, particularly Darrelle Revis. We also began to speculate on some lingering issues despite the stellar off-season. Be sure to catch up with fan favorites Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman on the...

"I definitely had an offer from the Patriots. But there was language in there that definitely was a..."

“I definitely had an offer from the Patriots. But there was language in there that definitely...

Time for the AFC East to Run Over Patriots?

Time for the AFC East to Run Over Patriots?: New post is up over at Sportsblog, just wondering if...

Bill Belichick Wearing Visor At Pitt-Florida (That’s His Girlfriend)

  That’s Bill Belichick’s girlfriend Linda Holliday with him at today’s Pitt-Florida game. Only big news here is that Bill went visor today.…

Julian Edelman is impressed with the Patriots' free agency signings

Julian Edelman is back with the Patriots for the next four seasons if all goes well and he's not only happy with the Pats' decision to bring him back. He's also a fan of the other moves that the Pats made to get better this offseason. Per Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald: "I’m a player, and I’m going to play as hard as I can," Edelman said today...

Brandon LaFell chose New England Patriots because of Brady

Bob Donnan/USA Today SportsAccording to ESPN, Brandon LaFell told reporters in a conference call that he chose to sign in New England because of the chance to win. Oh, and being able to play with a Hall of Fame quarterback helped as well, per ESPN.“One day Cam [Newton] will be there, probably, but he’s not there now,” LaFell said of Hall of Fame status. “I feel like it was...

New England Patriots re-sign WR Julian Edelman

I thought that Julian Edelman should have been higher on the Patriots’ off-season to do list than Aqib Talib. Talib is an overrated player who can’t stay healthy and was sure to be overpaid on the open market. A cornerback trio of Alfonzo Dennard, Logan Ryan, and Kyle Arrington would have been passable (though the signings of Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner certainly help...

Video: Darrelle Revis talks about how great Tom Brady is back in 2010

This was Brady's last MVP season, the year where he threw about a million straight passes without an interception.I think this was the moment a lot of Patriots fans starting hating Revis less. A great rewatch now that #24 is a Patriot.

Brandon LaFell Quits Twitter after Ripping Cam Newton & Signing with Patriots

Brandon LaFell signed a three-year contract with the Patriots on March 17 and was obviously extremely happy about getting the opportunity to catch balls from Tom Brady. The former LSU wideout was apparently recruited by his former Tiger teammate, Stevan Ridley, who is a New England running back. LaFell also took to Twitter earlier this week and called out his former QB, Cam Newton...

Rob Gronkowski (Record Setting Season) (by NEPatriotsNFL)

Rob Gronkowski (Record Setting Season) (by NEPatriotsNFL)

How Will Patriots' Free-Agency Strategy Affect Their Approach in the Draft?

How Will Patriots' Free-Agency Strategy Affect Their Approach in the Draft? : Friday B/R column is...

Bill Belichick And Billy Donovan: Game Recognizes Game

Game recognizes game, which makes it little surprise that Bill Belichick and Billy Donovan are friends.

Rex Ryan talks about Darrelle Revis joining the Patriots

Rex Ryan has been a pretty big fan of Darrelle Revis over his career.Revis' best days have been in a New York Jet uniform, and his boisterous coach had a large part in getting the corner some national attention, constantly calling him the "best cornerback in the game" to the media.Unfortunately for Rex, the team and Revis parted on some bad terms. Revis wanted to stay...

Report: Patriots Free Agent RB LeGarrette Blount To Visit With Steelers

After already meeting with Jacksonville Jaguars free agent running back Maurice Jones-Drew this past, the Pittsburgh Steelers have now scheduled a visit with another free agent running back. According to the National Football Post, New England Patriots free agent running back LeGarrette Blount will be in Pittsburgh Sunday night for a visit. Blount rushed for 772 yards and seven touchdowns...
NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.