The Patriots have come to terms with their kicker, Stephen Gostkowski, who they had franchised earlier this season.
According to the Boston Globe and confirmed by Mike Reiss, the Patriots and Ghost have agreed to a four year deal worth $17.2 million:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Filed to ESPN: Patriots and kicker Stephen Gostkowski beat franchise-tag deadline and agree to four-year deal. Ballpark total value of $17m.</p>— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) <a href="https://twitter.com/MikeReiss/status/621382791629041664">July 15, 2015</a></blockquote>
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The deal will keep him on the roster until he is 35, thus guaranteeing several more seasons of solid production from the team's all-time most accurate kicker.
Had Ghost not negotiated a new deal, he would have played under the franchise tag salary of $4.59 million and been an unrestricted agent in 2016. Under his new contract, his annual salary is slightly lower - $4.3 million - in exchange for some job security and the chance to keep playing for a contender. I'm guessing that the deal also includes some kind of signing bonus that will allow the team to further reduce his cap hit going forward.
Good news all around, as Gostkowski is one of the league's best kickers; it's great that he'll be in a Patriots uniform for the foreseeable future.