When Tom Brady decided to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency, that bumped veteran kicker Stephen Gostkowski to being the longest-tenured player on the New England Patriots. That title was held briefly, however, after the club released the 36-year-old in late March. That put an end to Gostkowski's 14-season run with New England after the franchise selected him in the 2006 draft.
He was placed on injured reserve following Week 4 of the 2019 campaign and underwent season-ending hip surgery not too long after. That injury is now in the rearview mirror for Gostokowski, who is currently looking at a rather uncertain future in the NFL. What is certain, however, is the fact that he wants to continue playing in the league somewhere and believes he still has a lot to offer a franchise.
"I'm not ready to just hang it up," he told NBC Sports Boston's Tom E. Curran. "I'm gonna try to play. It's going to be tough to show teams what I can do right now or 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."
As it relates to his health, Gostkowski says he is feeling good and, partly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he is actually ahead of where he'd normally be in his offseason preparations because there's not many other ways to spend his time. The fact the he cannot visit with teams and take a physical, however, has been a drawback.
"I feel good," he continued. "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."
For his career, Gostkowski has been successful on 87.4% of his field goal attempts and 98.3% of his extra point attempts. Prior to going down with the hip injury in 2019, the three-time Super Bowl champion did struggle, particularly on extra points. While he converted on 87.5% of his field goals, his extra point conversion rate dropped to 73.3%, which was a career-low. That could be attributed to the hip injury. Now that it is all healed up, he should be back to his normal self for whichever teams signs him.