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Franchise Tag Deadline: Patriots Kicker Stephen Gostkowski

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The Patriots and kicker Stephen Gostkowski need to come to a decision for a long term contract.

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots and kicker Stephen Gostkowski have 24 hours to come to terms with an extension for the franchise's all time leading scorer.

Gostkowski was the Patriots 4th round pick in 2006 and he's ably replaced the ginormous shoes of Adam Vinatieri. I am of the camp that believes Bill Belichick and the New England front office should try and keep Gostkowski around for the long term.

The deadline for an extension is July 15th at 4 PM EST, at which point teams and franchised players will be unable to negotiate until the next free agency period.

If an extension is struck, then that means both parties wanted to stay together and there will be continued stability at one of the more important positions that everyone loves to forget about.

If there is no extension, there are three possible explanations:

1) The Patriots hope the glut of free agent kickers will drag down the price of the position next offseason, so there's no rush to negotiate.

2) The Patriots are looking to get younger (and cheaper) at the position and looking to draft one of the top kickers in next season's draft.

3) The Patriots and Gostkowski just couldn't come to terms on his value, even though the interest to stay together existed on both sides.

Personally, with the cap growing, I think the price of kickers will creep up next offseason. Gostkowski is a proven commodity and an elite kicker. Pay the man.