While he didn’t receive nearly as much attention as the other four franchised players this offseason, Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski also had until today to work out a multiyear contract with his team. And according to Christopher Gasper of the Boston Globe (Twitter link), Gostkowski has done just that, agreeing to an extension with the Pats. It’s a four-year deal worth $17.2MM, per Adam Schefter and Mike Reiss of ESPN.com (Twitter links).
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 eventually signed a long-term deal with the club as well.
Because he signed his tender shortly after he was tagged, Gostkowski wasn’t in the same situation as the other four franchised players, who were not under contract heading into today. Although today was the last day Gostkowski could sign a multiyear contract, there was no question that he’d report to the club later this month and participate in training camp, with or without a long-term contract.
Gostkowski’s one-year salary on the franchise tag had been $4.59MM, so his new deal reduces his annual salary slightly – to $4.3MM – in exchange for some longer-term security. Gostkowski’s extension also figures to include at least a modest signing bonus, which should allow the Pats to reduce his cap hit for 2015.