New England Patriots: 2018 defensive free agency preview
By Luke O'Brien
22 – Jomal Wiltz
26 – David Jones
27 – Ryan Lewis
39 – Damarius Travis
3 – Stephen Gostkowski – Staying
Heading into his 12th season with the Patriots, Gostkowski remains one of the best kickers in the NFL. It seems like any time he misses a kick, Gostkowski is being run out of town, lists appear of free agent kickers on Twitter and fans have the same argument about why the Patriots didn’t keep Adam Vinatieri.
The fact of the matter is, Gostkowski has a career field goal conversion percentage of 88 percent. To put that into perspective, Sebastian Janikowski is 80 percent, Justin Tucker is 90 percent, Matt Bryant is 86 percent and of course, Adam Vinatieri is 84 percent. Put simply, Gostkowski is one of the best kickers in the NFL and will continue so unchallenged this season.
6 – Ryan Allen – Staying
One person that might have some competition brought in is Ryan Allen. He was “okay” last year, but that really is about it. His cap number is low enough that he isn’t really a cut candidate, as the Patriots would have to pay any prospective free agent a lot more money than the $2 million due to him this season. What the Patriots could do is bring in an undrafted rookie in to compete with him. He will really need to up his game in 2018 regardless, as he enters the last year of his contract.
49 – Joe Cardona – Staying
Cardona has been relatively consistent throughout his first three seasons with the Patriots. What will really stick in Patriots fans’ memory is the poor snap, which resulted in a missed field goal in Super Bowl LII. Outside of his on-field performance, he is only due $700K this year albeit in the last year of his contract.
Next: 5 Potential Cap Casualties On Patriots
Special thanks to sportrac.com for their in-depth contract information which really helped in putting this piece together.