Tom Brady’s exit in free agency left Stephen Gostkowski standing as the longest-tenured member of the New England Patriots.
On March 23, the franchise’s all-time scoring leader saw his time on the roster end by way of release.
“Don’t feel sorry for me,” Gostkowski recently told NBC Sports Boston’s Tom E. Curran on the Patriots Talk Podcast. “I am very blessed to be able to play 14 years with the Patriots, and to have gone to all the Super Bowls that we’ve been to and winning three of them and playing in, whatever – eight, nine straight AFC Championship Games. I think I’ve played in 10 of them. I don’t remember. But I never even thought I’d play in the NFL, let alone for 14 years with the same team. So, there’s no feeling sorry for myself. I’m very blessed and grateful for the opportunity that I had, and to share that with all the coaches and the teammates.”
New England selected Gostkowski in the fourth round of the 2006 NFL draft out of Memphis. The placekicking successor to Adam Vinatieri would go on to make four Pro Bowls and three All-Pro teams.
And this April, Gostkowski was named to the league’s All-Decade team for the 2010s.
“I’ve had it pretty good, so I can’t complain too much,” Gostkowski said. “And for it to happen, for the time to end right when all this stuff is going on, it pales in comparison to everyone.”
Gostkowski’s final season with New England concluded on injured reserve after four games due to hip surgery.
The 36-year-old free agent said he is working out between five and six times per week, through avenues ranging from Zoom Pilates classes to kicking and running alone at a nearby high school.
“I’m not ready to just hang it up. I’m going to try to play,” Gostkowski told Curran. “It’s going to be tough to get to show teams what I can do right now, or go work out or do a physical. But I’m not too worried about it. I’m not concerned. I kind of take things day-by-day. I feel good. I’m starting to feel better. I’m trying to keep getting in better and better shape, and I’ve probably done more so far this year as I would heading into a normal season. So, I feel like I’m ahead of where I usually am, and I have nothing but time.”
One year and a cap number north of $4.8 million remained on Gostkowski’s contract. He converted 87.5 percent of his attempted field goals, including playoffs, while with New England.
“No one is doing any practicing right now with a team,” Gostkowski said in reference to the coronavirus pandemic and the stoppage of NFL offseason programs. “And I’m sure teams that would need someone at my position will know a lot more post-draft. I’ve had a few feelers out there, but there’s no rush. I mean, I’m not missing out on anything. I’m going to keep working hard. I’m going to train to get healthy and have the opportunity to play if the right opportunity calls.”