Mike Vrabel and the Tennessee Titans are going to look just a bit more like his former team, the New England Patriots, this fall. The franchise is signing recently released Pats kicker Stephen Gostkowski.
Gostkowski inherited the Patriots job from all-time great Adam Vinatieri in 2006, while Vrabel was still a linebacker under Bill Belichick. He’d go on to be a stalwart at the position for New England, with three All-Pro selections and a spot on the NFL’s All-Decade team for the 2010s. He won three Super Bowls with the Patriots.
Now, the franchise’s all-time leading scorer heads south to Tennessee, the state where he lives in the offseason, and played his college ball at Memphis. He looks to prove that he still has more in the tank, after being put on injured reserve last season, due to a hip injury. He finished the year 7-of-8 on field goals, but he was a very shaky 11-of-15 on extra points.
Bill Belichick released Gostkowski in March. Players don’t often get a full heartfelt public letter sent by the legendary head coach when they’re cut, but Gostkowski was enough a piece of the fabric of the franchise that he got that treatment. Now, he’s set to play for the team most directly looking to replicate what Belichick built in New England.
Titans reached agreement with former Patriots’ kicker Stephen Gostkowski, who gets to stay home in Tennessee to kick.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 3, 2020
“I’m not ready to just hang it up,” Stephen Gostkowski said in April, after his release. “I’m gonna try to play. It’s going to be tough to show teams what I can do right now or work out or do a physical, but I’m not too worried about it.”
For last year’s playoff game—a big upset win by the Tennessee Titans —the team had five former Patriots on the roster.
Gostkowski has converted 87.4-percent of field goals and 98.3-percent of extra points in his career, and has been one of the most consistent players at the position in recent NBA history. If the Pro Football Hall of Fame opens up for kickers a bit more, he’s likely Canton-bound. We’ll see if he can put together a coda to his career in Tennessee.
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