New England Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski is the second-longest tenured player on the team behind quarterback Tom Brady, and he could have left the franchise this offseason in NFL free agency.
Gostkowski instead decided to remain with the Patriots and signed a two-year contract worth a reported $8.5 million. He revealed Tuesday what went into his decision to stay in New England.
"It's a very fragile position," Gostkowski said at Gillette Stadium. "It doesn't take much to be at the top or the bottom in a position such as mine. To be able to have a chance to do it on 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's not always that way. I kind of like the challenge of being here, the bad weather, the pressure of the big games."
There's definitely a lot of pressure kicking for the Patriots. They play in a ton of important games each season, including four Super Bowl appearances in the last five years.
Gostkowski has handled the pressure quite well since he was drafted in 2006 and shortly thereafter became the team's starting kicker. The 35-year-old has converted on 87.38 percent of his field goal attempts, which is the third-best rate in league history. Gostkowki went 2-for-3 on field goals in the Patriots' 13-3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII in February.
It's possible Gostkowski could have made more money with a different team, but it sounds like having a great chance to play in the playoffs every season means a lot to him. He's played in six Super Bowls with the Patriots, which is the most by one kicker in league history.
"My daughter's been to three Super Bowls and she's not even three yet," Gostkowski said. "My oldest son has been to five. It's a dream come true."
Gostkowski made 27 of his 32 field goal attempts and 49 of 50 extra point attempts last season. He's been selected to four Pro Bowl and two All-Pro teams.
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