Stephen Gostkowski explains 'weird' free agent experience

Ryan Hannable
May 14, 2019 - 11:53 am

FOXBORO -- From the outside, Stephen Gostkowski's offseason was a bit strange.

The 35-year-old was a free agent and didn't re-sign with the Patriots until April 9, almost a full month after free agency began. 

Speaking Tuesday at Gillette Stadium, the veteran kicker admitted it was a "weird" time, but he's happy to have inked a two-year deal and now have a chance to play his entire career with the same team.

“I mean, well I played 13 years and I had never been a free agent so I had no idea what to expect," he said. "Having a lot of time to sit back and think about what I really wanted really reassured me how much I really did want to be here. I couldn’t have been happier that it worked out the way it did. It was a weird experience. 8-9 years ago when I didn’t have kids and a family and roots here it’s a completely different ballgame and being able to take my time and think about what I really wanted and go over all the factors.

"It’s nice when other teams show interest in you and stuff like that, but at the end of the day I would like to try to finish where I started. That meant a lot to me. It meant a lot to my kids and my family and we are ecstatic to have two more shots to play for the Patriots.”

Gostkowski added: “I mean, business is weird in the NFL and you don’t really know until you’re in it. There’s millions of things that go on, and decisions that need to be made and I don’t like to get too involved in the business side of it. I just tell my agent what I think and he tells me what they think and what people say. It was a weird experience having to wait so long to see what other teams were out there and stuff like that. Good things happen to those who wait and I couldn’t be more excited to be here.”

The Memphis product is one of the best kickers in the entire NFL, although he has missed some big kicks in big playoff games in recent years. Last year, he was a perfect 21-for-21 on kicks inside of 40 yards and overall was 27-for-32.

In the end, he couldn't turn down the chance to spend his entire career in New England.

“To me, it means a lot," he said. "It’s a very fragile position and it doesn’t take much to be at the top or the bottom in the position such as mine. To have the chance to be able to do it in one of the most high pressure teams in the history of sports and have a chance to continue to do it, I think it would be tough to go somewhere else. The grass might seem greener on the other side, but it is not always that way.

"I kind of like the challenge of being here, the bad weather, the pressure of the big games and all that stuff. And just the opportunity to have a chance to play with a lot of my friends and teammates that I have made. To me, that means the world, a lot more than other things that can be offered from other teams.”

Related: ESPN's T.J. Quinn on M&C: Robert Kraft potentially could sue state of Florida