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Stephen Gostkowski

Stephen Gostkowski

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Stephen Carroll Gostkowski (born January 28, 1984 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Baton Rouge is the capital of the U.S. state of Louisiana. It is located in East Baton Rouge Parish and is the second-largest city in the state.Baton Rouge is a major industrial, petrochemical, medical, and research center of the American South...

) is a placekicker
Placekicker
Placekicker, or simply kicker , is the title of the player in American and Canadian football who is responsible for the kicking duties of field goals, extra points...

 for the New England Patriots
New England Patriots
The New England Patriots, commonly called the "Pats", are a professional football team based in the Greater Boston area, playing their home games in the town of Foxborough, Massachusetts at Gillette Stadium. The team is part of the East Division of the American Football Conference in the National...

 of the National Football League
National Football League
The National Football League is the highest level of professional American football in the United States, and is considered the top professional American football league in the world. It was formed by eleven teams in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with the league changing...

 (NFL). He was drafted in the fourth round of the 2006 NFL Draft
2006 NFL Draft
The 2006 National Football League Draft, the 71st in league history, took place in New York City at Radio City Music Hall on April 29 and April 30, 2006. For the 27th consecutive year, the draft was telecast on ESPN and ESPN2, with additional coverage offered by ESPNU and, for the first time, by...

 with the 118th pick, one of just two kickers drafted, and the only rookie kicker to make an NFL roster that year.

Gostkowski, who played both college football and baseball
Baseball
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...

 for the University of Memphis
University of Memphis
The University of Memphis is an American public research university located in the Normal Station neighborhood of Memphis, Tennessee and is the flagship public research university of the Tennessee Board of Regents system....

, is the most accurate kicker in Patriots history, and one of the most accurate kickers in NFL history. He is also a consistent and prolific scorer: he is only the second player in NFL history to score 500 points in his first four seasons in the league.

Early years


Gostkowski graduated from Madison Central High School
Madison Central High School (Mississippi)
Madison Central High School is a public high school located on Highland Colony Parkway in Madison, Mississippi. Madison Central is part of the Madison County School District. Madison Central has a student body of 1377, and the current principal is Edith Mitchell. It is one of the four largest...

 in Madison, Mississippi
Madison, Mississippi
Madison is a city in Madison County, Mississippi, USA. The population was 14,691 at the 2000 census. The population is currently 16,930. It is part of the Jackson Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is currently the highest income city in the state...

 in 2002. While there, he won four varsity letters each in football and soccer, and three in baseball, and was an All-State honoree in all three sports. Gostkowski holds the school record for longest field goal, a 55-yard kick. His teammates at Madison Central included current 49ers
San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers are a professional American football team based in San Francisco, California, playing in the West Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League . The team was founded in 1946 as a charter member of the All-America Football Conference and...

 linebacker
Linebacker
A linebacker is a position in American football that was invented by football coach Fielding H. Yost of the University of Michigan. Linebackers are members of the defensive team, and line up approximately three to five yards behind the line of scrimmage, behind the defensive linemen...

 Parys Haralson
Parys Haralson
Parys Sharron Haralson is a linebacker in the NFL for the San Francisco 49ers. He was drafted by the 49ers in the 5th round in the 2006 NFL Draft. He went to Tennessee where he played defensive end.-Early years:Haralson attended Madison Central High School in Madison, Mississippi...

 and Seahawks
Seattle Seahawks
The Seattle Seahawks are a professional American football team based in Seattle, Washington. They are currently members of the Western Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League . The team joined the NFL in 1976 as an expansion team...

 center
Center (American football)
Center is a position in American football and Canadian football . The center is the innermost lineman of the offensive line on a football team's offense...

 Chris Spencer. His opponents included current Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons
The Atlanta Falcons are a professional American football team based in Atlanta, Georgia. They are a member of the South Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League...

 running back Jerious Norwood
Jerious Norwood
-2006:In 2006, Norwood played in 14 games and ranked third on the team with 633 rushing yards on 99 carries with two touchdowns to go along with 12 receptions for 102 yards. He also returned 13 kickoffs for 320 yards and tallied three special teams tackles.Norwood was the first player in NFL...

, who returned one of Gostkowski's kickoffs from two yards deep in the end zone; Gostkowski raced him down at the 25-yard line to prevent a touchdown.

His most common nickname growing up was "Beaver"; he lost two front teeth playing hockey and had fake teeth that were too large put in as replacements. While at Memphis, he was dubbed "Gotti" by Tigers head coach Tommy West
Tommy West
-External links:* *...

, because West couldn't pronounce Gostkowski correctly.

College career


Gostkowski attended the University of Memphis
University of Memphis
The University of Memphis is an American public research university located in the Normal Station neighborhood of Memphis, Tennessee and is the flagship public research university of the Tennessee Board of Regents system....

 where he majored in Exercise and Sport Science. Gostkowski actually received a baseball scholarship at Memphis, and was a walk-on on the football team. He finished his college career with a total of 369 points, a school record, and 13th overall in NCAA Division I-A history, converting 70 of 92 field goals
Field goal (football)
A field goal in American football and Canadian football is a goal that may be scored during general play . Field goals may be scored by a placekick or the now practically extinct drop kick.The drop kick fell out of favor in 1934 when the shape of the ball was changed...

 and 159 of 165 extra point
Extra Point
Extra Point is a twice-daily, two-minute segment on ESPN Radio that covers generic sports-related topical news and opinion. The AM edition airs Monday through Saturday at various times between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. ET, and the PM edition airs Monday through Friday between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. ET...

s (PATs) during his Tiger career. His 70 FGs and 159 PATs both set school records previously held by Joe Allison (1990–1993). He earned first team All-Conference USA
Conference USA
Conference USA, officially abbreviated C-USA, is a college athletic conference whose member institutions are located within the Southern United States. The conference participates in the NCAA's Division I in all sports...

 honors in both his junior and senior years and was named Conference USA's Special Teams Player of the Year in 2005.

In 2005, his senior season, Gostkowski handled kickoff duties for Memphis, and had 39 touchback
Touchback
In American football, a touchback is a ruling which is made and signaled by an official when the ball becomes dead behind or above a goal line and the team who is attacking that goal line is responsible for the ball being there. Responsibility is determined by which team gave the ball the impetus...

s on 68 kickoffs. Gostkowski did so using a one-inch tee (the height of NFL tees), rather than the two-inch tees allowed by the NCAA at the time. Thus, NFL talent scouts could more accurately project his potential.

In a 2005 game against Houston
Houston Cougars football
The Houston Cougars football program is an NCAA Division I FBS football team that represents the University of Houston. The team is commonly referred to as "Houston" or "UH" . The UH football program is currently a member of the Conference USA intercollegiate athletic conference, and is coached by...

, Gostkowski managed the rare feat of recovering his own onside kick
Onside kick
In American and Canadian football, an onside kick is a type of kick used at a kickoff or other free kick, or scrimmage kick or other kick during play, in which the ball is kicked favorably for the kicking team to avoid giving away the ball...

.

2006 season


Gostkowski was drafted by the New England Patriots in the fourth round of the 2006 NFL Draft with the 118th pick. During the Patriots' 2006 training camp, he competed with veteran kicker Martín Gramática
Martin Gramatica
Martín Gramática is an Argentine-American former football placekicker.Gramática was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the third round of the 1999 NFL Draft after playing college football at Kansas State, and has also been a member of the Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots, Dallas...

, who the Patriots had signed as a free agent after Adam Vinatieri
Adam Vinatieri
Adam Matthew Vinatieri is an American football placekicker currently playing for the Indianapolis Colts. He has played in six Super Bowls, four with the New England Patriots and two with the Colts, winning four. Vinatieri won a Super Bowl in 2006 with Indianapolis and won Super Bowls in 2001,...

 signed with the Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis Colts
The Indianapolis Colts are a professional American football team based in Indianapolis. They are currently members of the South Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League ....

. On August 23, 2006, before their third preseason game, the Patriots cut Gramática, and gave the job to rookie Gostkowski. (This is the reverse of what the makers of the video game Madden NFL 07
Madden NFL 07
Madden NFL 07 is the 2007 edition of the popular Madden NFL series. It is the first in the video game series to be released for the PlayStation 3 and Wii consoles. Former Seattle Seahawks running back Shaun Alexander is on the cover.-Features:...

expected; in the game, New England's place kicker is Gramática, not Gostkowski, who is listed as a free agent.) Since Gramática's release, Gostkowski has not faced any competition for his job.

During the 2006 preseason, Gostkowski was perfect on kicks and PATs, going 9-for-9 and 11-for-11, respectively, for a total of 38 points. His longest field goal was a 54-yard attempt against the New York Giants
New York Giants
The New York Giants are a professional American football team based in East Rutherford, New Jersey, representing the New York City metropolitan area. The Giants are currently members of the Eastern Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League...

 in the last preseason game. On November 26, 2006, Gostkowski made the longest regular-season kick of his young career, a 52-yard kick against the Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears
The Chicago Bears are a professional American football team based in Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the North Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League...

, which is also the longest kick ever made at Gillette Stadium
Gillette Stadium
Gillette Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium located in Foxborough, Massachusetts, 21 miles southwest of downtown Boston and from downtown Providence, Rhode Island. It serves as the home stadium and administrative offices for the New England Patriots football team and the New England Revolution...

. Gostkowski finished the 2006 season as the highest-scoring rookie, with 103 points (20 field goals and 43 PATs), edging out the 96 points scored by Jacksonville
Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jacksonville Jaguars are a professional American football team based in Jacksonville, Florida, U.S. They are currently members of the South Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League...

 running back
Running back
A running back is a gridiron football position, who is typically lined up in the offensive backfield. The primary roles of a running back are to receive handoffs from the quarterback for a rushing play, to catch passes from out of the backfield, and to block.There are usually one or two running...

 Maurice Jones-Drew
Maurice Jones-Drew
Maurice Christopher Jones-Drew is a professional American football player who currently plays running back for the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League . He was drafted in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft...

.

While Gostkowski struggled early in his rookie season—he had two consecutive kicks blocked—Patriots reporters and fans have noted that his kickoffs are noticeably longer than were Vinatieri's in his last season in Foxboro. During the 2006 season, he averaged 65.5 yards per kickoff with a return average of 23 yards, and a total of 12 touchbacks. (By comparison, in 2005, Vinatieri's average kickoff was just 61.6 yards, though playing in a dome in 2006 he averaged 65.8 yards.) He also, somewhat surprisingly, did better overall on FG kicks than did opposing teams: while Gostkowski made 20 of 26 kicks, for a conversion rate of 76.9%, opposing kickers made just 22 of 30, for a conversion rate of just 73.3%. Gostkowski's rookie season was statistically about the same as Vinatieri's: Vinatieri converted 27 of 35 kicks (77.3%), but missed three PATs (39/42).

Gostkowski also had to contend with having three different holders during the season. After his first holder, punter Josh Miller
Josh Miller
Josh Miller is a former American football punter and current football analyst.He was signed by the Baltimore Stallions of the Canadian Football League as an undrafted free agent in 1994...

, was placed on injured reserve after week 11, the Patriots signed Ken Walter
Ken Walter
Ken Walter is a former American football punter for the New England Patriots in the National Football League. From 1997 – 2000, he played for the Carolina Panthers, from 2001 – 2003 he played for the Patriots, and in 2004 played for the Seattle Seahawks...

, who held for weeks 12 to 15 until he too was placed on IR. Though the Patriots hired Todd Sauerbrun
Todd Sauerbrun
Todd Scott Sauerbrun is an American football punter who is currently a free agent. He was originally drafted by the Chicago Bears in the second round of the 1995 NFL Draft...

 to punt, holding duties were given to the Patriots' backup quarterback Matt Cassel
Matt Cassel
Matthew Brennan "Matt" Cassel is a quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League. He was drafted by the New England Patriots in the seventh round of the 2005 NFL Draft...

 (which led to one regular-season kick that, while good, made two bizarre turns in mid-air).

2006 postseason


In the AFC Wildcard Game of the 2006 postseason against the New York Jets
New York Jets
The New York Jets are a professional football team headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey, representing the New York metropolitan area. The team is a member of the Eastern Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League...

, Gostkowski was perfect on all his kick attempts, converting three field goal attempts (from 20, 40, and 28 yards) and four extra points. He also had one kickoff go through the back of the end zone (over 80 yards) for a touchback.

In the AFC Divisional Playoffs against the San Diego Chargers
San Diego Chargers
The San Diego Chargers are a professional American football team based in San Diego, California. they were members of the Western Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League...

, Gostkowski made three of three field goals, including a 50-yard kick that was the longest successful kick in Patriots postseason history. He also made a 34-yarder in the third quarter and a 31-yard kick with 1:10 left in the fourth that made him only the third NFL rookie to attempt a game-winning playoff kick in the fourth quarter or overtime. (One of the others was Chargers kicker Nate Kaeding
Nate Kaeding
Nathaniel James Kaeding is an American football placekicker who plays for the San Diego Chargers of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Chargers in the 2004 NFL Draft in the 3rd round with a pick acquired from the Phillip Rivers-Eli Manning trade. He played college football at Iowa...

, who missed his attempt in the 2004 playoffs; in this game, Kaeding missed a potential game-tying 54-yarder in the closing seconds.) Gostkowski also converted his only extra point attempt of the game following a Jabar Gaffney
Jabar Gaffney
Derrick Jabar Gaffney is an American football wide receiver for the Washington Redskins of the National Football League . He was drafted by the Houston Texans in the second round of the 2002 NFL Draft...

 touchdown in the second quarter.

In the AFC Championship, Gostkowski again converted all of his kicks (two field goals and four PATs), and recorded two touchbacks on kickoffs, including one late in the fourth quarter after his second kick gave the Patriots a 34-31 lead.

Expectations from the Vinatieri years


As an untested rookie, Gostkowski faced special scrutiny in the playoffs, given the playoff heroics of Vinatieri. Gostkowski performed admirably, making all eight of his field goal kicks; he also recorded three touchbacks, including two in the Patriots' January 21, 2007 loss to the Colts at the RCA Dome
RCA Dome
RCA Dome was a domed stadium, located in Indianapolis, Indiana, and the home of the Indianapolis Colts NFL franchise for 24 seasons ....

.

2007 season


Although Gostkowski ranked just 30th in field goal attempts through the first 12 weeks of the NFL season (16 attempts, 14 converted), he managed to equal his entire 2006 output in those 12 weeks, thanks to an NFL-leading 61 extra point attempts, all of which he converted. In Week 15, against the Jets, Gostkowski broke Uwe von Schamann
Uwe von Schamann
Uwe Detlef Walter von Schamann is a former professional American football placekicker. He played for the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League, from 1979 to 1984.-Early life:...

's record for most PATs converted in a season, with his 67th successful attempt. In Week 16, against the Dolphins, for whom von Schamann played, Gostkowski also had his 71st PAT attempt, breaking von Schamann's record of 70. Gostkowski finished the season with three more PATs against the New York Giants
New York Giants
The New York Giants are a professional American football team based in East Rutherford, New Jersey, representing the New York City metropolitan area. The Giants are currently members of the Eastern Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League...

 in Week 17 to finish a perfect 74-for-74 on PATs, eclipsing Jeff Wilkins
Jeff Wilkins
For the American basketball player, see Jeff Wilkins .Jeffrey Allen Wilkins nicknamed "Money" is a former American football placekicker in the National Football League for the San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles and St Louis Rams. He played college football at Youngstown State University...

' 1999 record of 64-for-64 with the St. Louis Rams
St. Louis Rams
The St. Louis Rams are a professional American football team based in St. Louis, Missouri. They are currently members of the West Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League . The Rams have won three NFL Championships .The Rams began playing in 1936 in Cleveland,...

. Gostkowski also went 21 for 24 on field goals to finish with 137 points on the season, the third-highest total of any player that year (rookie Green Bay kicker Mason Crosby
Mason Crosby
Mason Walker Crosby , is a professional American football placekicker for the Green Bay Packers in the National Football League. During his playing days at the University of Colorado, Crosby was widely considered the best kicker in college football, as evidenced by ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr.'s...

 had 141, and Patriots receiver Randy Moss
Randy Moss
Randy Gene Moss is a former American football wide receiver. He was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the first round of the 1998 NFL Draft...

 had 138).

Gostkowski also had the distinction, in the Week 13 game against the Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore Ravens
The Baltimore Ravens are a professional football franchise based in Baltimore, Maryland.The Baltimore Ravens are officially a quasi-expansion franchise, having originated in 1995 with the Cleveland Browns relocation controversy after Art Modell, then owner of the Cleveland Browns, announced his...

, of kicking off from the Ravens' 35-yard line as the result of two unsportsmanlike conduct
Unsportsmanlike conduct
Unsportsmanlike conduct is a foul or offense in many sports that is not necessarily a violation of the respective sport's rules of play, but violates the sport's generally accepted rules of sportsmanship and/or participant conduct...

 penalties on Ravens linebacker Bart Scott
Bart Scott
Bartholomew Edward Scott is an American football linebacker for the New York Jets of the National Football League. He was signed by the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted free agent in 2002...

 and an offside call on the Ravens defense on his PAT attempt. Gostkowski recorded a touchback on the kickoff, but there was confusion after the game as to whether or not the Patriots could have improved their field position by kicking the ball out-of-bounds instead.

2007 postseason


Gostkowski only had two field goal attempts in the postseason, both in the divisional game against the Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jacksonville Jaguars are a professional American football team based in Jacksonville, Florida, U.S. They are currently members of the South Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League...

; Gostkowski converted one, but missed the other, his only failed postseason conversion. He was, however, perfect on his PAT attempts, going 9-for-9.

2008 season


Gostkowski was a key contributor in the Patriots' 19–10 win over the New York Jets
New York Jets
The New York Jets are a professional football team headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey, representing the New York metropolitan area. The team is a member of the Eastern Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League...

 in Week 2, the game that marked Matt Cassel's debut as a starter. Gostkowski kicked 4 of 4 field goals from 21, 37, 28, and 27 yards, and recorded touchback
Touchback
In American football, a touchback is a ruling which is made and signaled by an official when the ball becomes dead behind or above a goal line and the team who is attacking that goal line is responsible for the ball being there. Responsibility is determined by which team gave the ball the impetus...

s on the first five of his six kickoffs (the last kick was returned to the 20 before a Raymond Ventrone
Raymond Ventrone
Raymond "Bubba" Ventrone is an American football safety for the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League. He was signed by the New England Patriots as an undrafted free agent in 2005. He played college football at Villanova....

 tackle).

In October, Gostkowski, after going 9-for-10 on field goals and 11-for-11 on PATs for a team-high 38 points, was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Month for the first time in his career.

In Week 16, Gostkowski had the highest-scoring game of his NFL career, converting 4 of 4 field goals, and 5 of 5 PATs. The 17-point performance gave him a total of 34 field goals on the season, breaking Tony Franklin's 1986 franchise record of 32, and 141 points scored, tying Vinatieri's post-merger franchise record, with one game still to play. (Former wide receiver/kicker Gino Cappelletti
Gino Cappelletti
Gino Cappelletti is a former American collegiate and Professional Football player. He played at the University of Minnesota, and was a star in the American Football League for the Boston Patriots...

 scored 155 points for the Patriots in 1964, and 147 points in 1961, but those include 44 and 56 points on receptions.) Gostkowski finished the season with a league-leading 148 points, the 13th-highest single-season total in NFL history; his 36 field goals converted is the sixth-best total, and the most since Neil Rackers
Neil Rackers
Neil William Rackers is an American football placekicker for the Houston Texans of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft...

 made 40 in 2005.

In December 2008 Gostkowski was selected for his first Pro Bowl
2009 Pro Bowl
The 2009 AFC-NFC Pro Bowl was the NFL's all-star game for the 2008 season. It was played at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii on February 8, 2009. This was the last time that a Pro Bowl game was held after the NFL Super Bowl game...

 appearance as the AFC
American Football Conference
The American Football Conference is one of the two conferences of the National Football League . This conference and its counterpart, the National Football Conference , currently contain 16 teams each, making up the 32 teams of the NFL....

 kicker; his selection was the result of the players' and coaches' votes, as he did not finish in the top five in fan voting. The Associated Press
Associated Press
The Associated Press is an American news agency. The AP is a cooperative owned by its contributing newspapers, radio and television stations in the United States, which both contribute stories to the AP and use material written by its staff journalists...

 also voted him to the All-Pro
2008 All-Pro Team
The 2008 All-Pro Team is composed of the National Football League players that were named to the Associated Press , Pro Football Writers Association , and Sporting News All-Pro Teams in 2008. These are the current teams that historically appear in Total Football: The Official Encyclopedia of the NFL...

 First Team for the first time; he received 28 of the 50 votes for kicker.

2009 season



In the Patriots' last-minute 25–24 victory over the Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills are a professional football team based in Buffalo, New York. They are currently members of the East Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League...

, Gostkowski recorded his first fumble recovery. When Leodis McKelvin
Leodis McKelvin
-Buffalo Bills:On July 26, McKelvin signed a five-year, $19.4 million contract with the Bills with up to $12.6 million in bonuses. McKelvin made an impact with his kick returning skills. McKelvin also returned a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown in a preseason game against the Steelers. The...

 fumbled the ball on a kickoff return, with the Patriots trailing 25–19, Gostkowski recovered the ball at the Bills' 31-yard line. Tom Brady, describing the play in his postgame press conference, used yet another nickname for Gostkowski: "Meat," a reference to Bull Durham
Bull Durham
Bull Durham is a 1988 American romantic comedy baseball film. It is based upon the minor league experiences of writer/director Ron Shelton and depicts the players and fans of the Durham Bulls, a minor league baseball team in Durham, North Carolina....

, coined by former Patriots punter Josh Miller
Josh Miller
Josh Miller is a former American football punter and current football analyst.He was signed by the Baltimore Stallions of the Canadian Football League as an undrafted free agent in 1994...

 during Gostkowski's rookie season.

Gostkowski won his first AFC Special Teams Player of the Week award in the Patriots' Week 9 game against the Miami Dolphins
Miami Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins are a Professional football team based in the Miami metropolitan area in Florida. The team is part of the Eastern Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League...

, in which he recorded four field goals and two touchback
Touchback
In American football, a touchback is a ruling which is made and signaled by an official when the ball becomes dead behind or above a goal line and the team who is attacking that goal line is responsible for the ball being there. Responsibility is determined by which team gave the ball the impetus...

s, including one on a re-kick from the Patriots' 25-yard line following an offside penalty.

Gostkowski finished the season going 26-for-31 on field goals, an 83.9 average. He was a perfect 47-for-47 on extra points and had a then-career-high 67.8 yard average on kickoffs.

2010 season


Gostkowski's rookie contract expired after the 2009 season, which normally would have made him an unrestricted free agent. As a result of the expiring NFL-NFLPA collective bargaining agreement, however, Gostkowski became a restricted free agent
Restricted free agent
A restricted free agent is a professional athlete who plays in the KHL, NFL, NHL, or NBA. Such players have special restrictions on the terms under which they can retain or change employment status with their athletic club teams.- NFL :...

; the Patriots offered him the second-round tender of $1,759,000 for the 2010 season. Gostkowski signed the tender on April 17.

On August 26, 2010, the Patriots signed Gostkowski to a four-year extension. While he will play 2010 on his tender contract, the extension will give him $14 million from 2011 to 2014, with $5 million guaranteed.

Gostkowski began the 2010
2010 New England Patriots season
The 2010 New England Patriots season was the 41st season for the team in the National Football League and 51st season overall. The Patriots improved on their 10–6 record from 2009 by finishing with a league-best 14–2 record and clinching the top seed in the AFC, before losing to the New York Jets...

 season missing three of his first four field goal attempts over two games. However, in Week 4, against the Miami Dolphins, Gostkowski recorded five touchbacks in a single game; two weeks later, Gostkowski kicked his first overtime game-winning kick in the Patriots' 23–20 victory over the Baltimore Ravens
2010 Baltimore Ravens season
The 2010 Baltimore Ravens season was the 15th for the team in the National Football League and city of Baltimore, Maryland, and the 13th to host home games at M&T Bank Stadium. They played in the NFL's American Football Conference North Division...

.

In Week 9, Gostkowski was not able to finish the Patriots' game against the Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns are a professional football team based in Cleveland, Ohio. They are currently members of the North Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League...

 after sustaining a thigh injury; he was replaced by wide receiver Wes Welker
Wes Welker
-San Diego Chargers :Welker, who was not drafted during the 2004 NFL Draft, signed as an undrafted free agent with the San Diego Chargers. Welker made the Chargers out of training camp, but was released after the first game of the season.-2004 season:...

. Three days later, on November 10, the Patriots placed Gostkowski on injured reserve
Injured reserve
The injured reserve list is a list of reserved players who are injured and unable to play for a period of time, used most prominently in the National Hockey League and National Football League . It is used because these leagues have a maximum number of players on the team roster, so placing a...

 with a torn quadriceps muscle, ending his season. The Patriots signed veteran kicker Shayne Graham
Shayne Graham
Michael Shayne Graham is an American football placekicker. He was signed by the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted free agent in 2000, and most recently played with the New England Patriots...

to replace him.

Gostkowski finished the injury-shortened season 10-for-13 on field goals (76.9%; tying his career low set in 2006), while setting a career high with an average kickoff distance of 67.9 yards. He was 26-for-26 on his extra point attempts.

External links