Mike Reiss is reporting that the Patriots have reached what is believed to be a four year contract extension with kicker Stephen Gostkowski. Terms of the deal have not been released.
Gostkowski was a restricted free agent this past off-season but did not miss any time in the spring. Of course it's easier to sign a kicker than it is a top flight guard, but this has to send a message to fellow RFA Logan Mankins. Gostkowski handled the situation professionally and was rewarded.
Gostkowski has been one of the most consistent kickers in the NFL since being drafted in the fourth round of 2006, the same year he kicked what turned out to be the winning kick in the AFC divisional game against the San Diego Chargers. Per Mike Reiss:
Entering the 2010 season, Gostkowski has hit 103-of-121 career field-goal attempts. His 85.1 percent accuracy rate is the highest in Patriots history.
He's been at or near the top of the league in field goal percentage and touchback percentage in each of his four seasons, which is even more impressive given the task of replacing Patriot legend Adam Vinatieri. Gostkowski's performance has proven the Patriots correct in letting Vinatieri walk to the Colts.
Welcome back, Steve. We still need a nickname for you.