The New England Patriots have agreed to terms with kicker Stephen Gostkowski on a four-year deal, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN. The deal came just hours before the 4 p.m. ET deadline for Gostkowski to sign his extension after the team placed the franchise tag on him earlier in the offseason. Gostkowski's deal is worth $17.2 million, per Adam Schefter.
Gostkowski is coming off a five-year contract he signed in 2010, a contract that paid him $15.8 million, an average salary of $3.15 million. The franchise tag was set to pay him $4.56 million, which would have made him the highest-paid kicker in the league next season. He will still remain so under his new contract. Gostkowski obviously wanted a long-term deal, but he had no plans to hold out and had already signed his franchise tender in advance of the deadline.
Given the tall task of replacing Adam Vinatieri, Gostkowski's value to the Patriots was never in doubt. He was drafted in the fourth round of the 2006 NFL Draft and has played in 16 games every season except 2010, when a thigh injury forced him to miss the final eight games of the season.
In 2014, the 31-year-old turned in his best season from a percentage standpoint as the Patriots made their Super Bowl run. He connected on 94.6 percent of his field goals, making 13 of 14 from 40-plus yards. For his career, he's made 243 of his 280 field goal attempts, for a percentage of 86.8.
Gostkowski has been to the Pro Bowl three times, in 2008, 2013 and 2014, and was a first-team All-Pro in 2008.
SB Nation presents: Rob Gronkowski is having an awesome offseason