The New England Patriots continue to lock up veteran free agents, re-signing kicker Nick Folk on day one of the NFL’s legal tampering window. The two-year, $5 million pact ties the 37-year old to New England through 2023.
Since initially signing with the Patriots in October 2019, Folk has proven to be one of the NFL’s most reliable kickers, building a reputation for making big kicks. His return to Foxborough is no surprise, but what does it mean for the Patriots? Let’s find out.
New England is focusing on itself right now.
The NFL’s legal tampering window opened up on Monday and it supposedly served as the first day that teams could contact impending free agents from other teams. The Patriots found that out first hand as they watched Ted Karras and J.C. Jackson agree to terms with other organizations.
They curiously decided to spend the day making moves with players that were already eligible for extensions prior to Monday.
Folk was the fourth player to re-sign with New England on Monday after Brian Hoyer, James Ferentz, and Matthew Slater all agreed to new contracts earlier in the day. Devin McCourty also re-signed prior to the tampering window opening on Sunday. With no concrete advantages in re-signing players during this particular period, it’s a wonder why New England decided to wait.
Quinn Nordin’s roster spot could be in jeopardy.
The Patriots were very careful in their handling of Quinn Nordin around roster cut down day last season. New England chose to keep him on the initial 53-man roster, cutting Nick Folk free. This allowed the Patriots to successfully stash Nordin on injured reserve without making him subject to waivers. Eventually Folk would re-sign to the practice squad and eventually the 53-man roster to serve as New England’s kicker for the season.
With New England making a two-year commitment to Folk, one would imagine it spells the end of the line for Nordin’s stint in a Patriots uniform.
Special teams is still a priority in Foxborough.
This one was a bit of a no brainer but it had to be mentioned. The New England Patriots still care about special teams.
That sounds like stating the obvious, but the retainment of Folk (37) and Slater (36) shows that the Patriots are still prioritizing the stability of their special teams units. While many teams would look to replace aging veterans with younger, more cost effective players, the Patriots have found value in a pair of veteran leaders.