Stephen Gostkowski deal reportedly lagging because of money
According to new rumors and reports from sources, Stephen Gostkowski’s new deal with the Patriots is lagging because of a gap in contract expectations.
At this stage in the NFL offseason, most of the big free agent signings have already occurred. The Patriots lost Trey Flowers, Cordarrelle Patterson, Trent Brown, and others; they gained Brandon Bolden, Terrence Brooks, Bruce Ellington, and others. More importantly, they re-signed key contributors from 2018’s squad like Jason McCourty, John Simon, and Ryan Allen.
Amongst the remaining items on their free agency to-do list, two names stand out above the rest: wide receiver Chris Hogan and placekicker Stephen Gostkowski.
It’s somewhat of a surprise that no resolution has yet been reached with either player. While we originally earmarked Hogan as a free agent the Pats could afford to lose before the 2019 season gets underway, we felt differently about Gostkowski, noting there’s not a whole lot more available as far as replacement options in free agency or the draft.
Most reports coming from both New England and Gostkowski’s camps have suggested that the two sides are mutually interested in a new deal that keeps the veteran in Foxborough for the foreseeable future. But according to the latest batch of rumors and reports, the hold-up in such a deal getting completed has everything to do with Gostkowski’s price tag.
Supposedly, a significant gap exists between where the Patriots value their kicker and where Gostkowski values himself. Just what exactly that gap is remains unknown, but it seems like that’s the main reason why he hasn’t been re-signed to the team as yet.
While it’s certainly not unusual for money to be the primary sticking point in negotiations between a player and his established team, what is unusual is the set of circumstances governing Gostkowski’s relationship with the Patriots.
On the one hand, Gostkowski is a three-time world champion, four-time Pro Bowler, three-time All-Pro, and the third-most accurate kicker in the history of the NFL.
On the other hand, Gostkowski is a 35-year-old kicker who ranked just 19th in field goal percentage last season, and who has missed a number of important kicks and extra point attempts in the playoffs the last few seasons.
New England head coach Bill Belichick has famously – and ruthlessly – kicked plenty of franchise greats to the curb when he no longer deemed them worthy of their asking price, instead looking for cheaper, younger replacements when he determined it necessary to move on. Whether or not Gostkowski becomes the latest player to join that list probably will depend on whether the two sides can find a middle ground to agree upon in the coming weeks.