The New England Patriots are undergoing some major changes this offseason. While legendary quarterback Tom Brady has fled Foxborough for sunny Tampa Bay, the Patriots have also parted ways with their all-time leading scorer Stephen Gostkowski, the team announced on Monday. Jim McBride of the Boston Globe first reported the plans to release the team's longtime kicker.
The 36-year-old played in just four games in 2019 due to a hip injury. It was clearly an issue that was affecting him, as Gostkowski missed four extra-point attempts in four games. The Patriots then cycled through Kai Forbath, Mike Nugent and Nick Folk to carry out kicking duties for the rest of the season.
Gostkowski was drafted by the Patriots in the fourth round of the 2006 NFL Draft out of Memphis. He spent all 14 NFL seasons in New England and finishes his time with the Patriots having converted on 87.4 percent of his field goals and 98.3 percent of his extra points. He was a three-time Super Bowl champion, a four-time Pro Bowler, and two-time First-team All-Pro and holds the NFL record for most consecutive extra points made with 479.
In 204 career games, Gostkowski's 374 made field goals and 653 made extra point attempts give him a total of 1,775 points scored -- which is good enough for 12th all time. Former Patriots star kicker Adam Vinatieri is currently No. 1 on the list with 2,673 points. Gostkowski was actually drafted to replace Vinatieri after he decided to sign with the Indianapolis Colts in 2006.
Brady and Gostkowski were the Patriots' two longest-tenured players. Now, they will enter the 2020 season without either of them.