The New England Patriots’ all-time scoring leader is departing.
Gostkowski stood as the longest-tenured member of New England’s roster following quarterback Tom Brady’s recent exit for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Memphis product arrived as a fourth-round pick in the 2006 NFL draft, and proceeded to earn four Pro Bowls, three All-Pros and three Super Bowl rings as the successor to Adam Vinatieri.
Gostkowski had been placed on injured reserve last October due to a hip injury that required surgery. The 36-year-old’s run as New England’s kicker spanned 204 regular-season games and 28 playoff games.
It brought a combined conversion rate of 87.5 percent.
The Patriots retained Gostkowski on a two-year, $8.5 million pact in the spring of 2019. His cap number was scheduled to eclipse $4.8 million in 2020. Per Miguel Benzan of the Boston Sports Journal, the release clears $837,500 in space for New England when accounting for the Top 51 rule.
Fellow kicker Nick Folk, who went 14-of-17 on field goals and 12-of-12 on extra points in Gostkowski’s absence last campaign, is an unrestricted free agent.