Stephen Gostkowski has gotten the boot after 14 years of kicking for the New England Patriots and coach Bill Belichick. Gostkowski, a 4-time Pro Bowler, played four games last season before undergoing season-ending hip surgery. Gostkowski, 36, is currently #12 on the all-time NFL kicking list with 1,775 points.
Ex-Patriots kicker Adam Vinatieri is the all-time leader in kicking with 2,673 points and counting. Gostkowski replaced Vinatieri in 2006 at a time when everyone in New England thought AV would be irreplaceable. The rookie had huge shoes to fill when Vinatieri left Beantown, but Gostkowski rose to the challenge.
Gostkowski finished with an 87.4% field goal rate and 1,775 total points for the Patriots. In 28 postseason games, Gostkowski connected on 88.6% of his field goals.
Over his career, he connected on 98.3% of his extra points. Before the NFL moved back the line for extra points, Gostkowski went nine full seasons (between 2007-15) without missing an XP.
NFL All-Time Top 5 Kickers
1. Adam Vinatieri 2,673
2. Morten Anderson 2,544
3. Gary Anderson 2,434
4. Jason Hanson 2,150
5. John Carney 2,062
12. Stephen Gostkowski 1,775
So, who will Bill Belichick find to replace a legend who replaced a legend?
At present, the Patriots have veteran Nick Folk on the roster. The Patriots Dynasty looks like a shell of its former self without Rob Gronkowski (rumored to be competing on The Masked Singer), Tom Brady (now with the Tampa Bay Bucs), and Gostkowski.
Gostkowski: Did You Know?
Gostkowski appeared in 28 playoff games during the Brady and Belichick dynasty. Only three other players in the history of the NFL appeared in more playoff games than Gostkowski. One of them was his ex-teammate, Tom Brady, who is the all-time leader with 41 playoff appearances. The other two are kicking legend Adam Vinatieri (32), and Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (29).
Gostkowski moved into second place in all-time playoff points. He has 205, but trails Vinatieri’s record of 238.
Gostkowski won three Super Bowls with the Patriots.
Gostkowski didn’t go to college to play football. He excelled in multiple sports in Madison, Mississippi, but was better known as a baseball standout. Gostkowski attended Memphis on a baseball scholarship and walked on to the football team as a kicker and special teams player.
Gostkowski kicked all four years at Memphis. He finished with at least 100 points in his final three seasons. He connected on 96.4% of his extra points and knocked down 76.1% of his field goals, including a 22-for-25 performance in his senior season.
The New England Patriots selected Gostkowski with a fourth-round pick in the 2006 NFL Draft when Belichick needed a new kicker to fill in for Vinatieri.
Gostkowski holds the NFL record for 479 consecutive extra points made.
Gostkowski kicked a career-high 62-yarder in 2017. The game occurred in the high altitude of Mexico City, and he could have easily cleared almost 70 yards.