Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski has signed his one-year franchise contract tender from the club, ensuring that he’s locked into a 2015 salary of nearly $4.6MM, reports Field Yates of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Gostkowski and the Pats could still work out a longer-term deal that reduces that figure, but the team won’t be able to rescind the one-year offer at any point now Gostkowski has signed it.
Gostkowski, 31, has led the NFL in field goals in each of the last two seasons, making 73 of his 78 total attempts during that stretch, for a 93.6% mark. Gostkowski has also made all 95 of his extra point tries over the last two years. That success prompted the Pats to designate him as their franchise player, rather than using the tag on safety Devin McCourty, who now appears set to reach the open market.
The move makes Gostkowski the first of six players who were hit with the franchise or transition tag to sign the one-year tender. Dez Bryant, Justin Houston, Jason Pierre-Paul, and Demaryius Thomas have yet to sign their franchise offers, while Charles Clay hasn’t signed his transition offer.