The Tennessee Titans are bringing in yet another former New England Patriot, according to the team’s official release. Stephen Gostkowski has signed with the Titans as Jon Robinson looks to finally address the kicking game that gave Tennessee so much trouble last season.
Gostkowski has played in six Super Bowls with the Patriots, winning three of them. Now 36 years old, Gostkowski is the most accurate kicker in Patriots history, and is one of the most prolific kickers the NFL has ever seen. He ranks 5th all-time in field goal accuracy, converting 374 of 428 attempts (87.4%) with a long of 62 yards.
Gostkowski was released by the Patriots in March after missing 12 games last season due to a hip injury. The move saved the Patriots nearly $3.5 million against the cap. Moving on from an aging kicker with a concerning injury at that price tag was a no brainer for New England, despite his 14 years of success with the team.
Prior to ending up on IR in early October, Gostkowski went 7-for-8 on field goal attempts and 11-for-15 on extra points. The mark of just 73.3% on extra points is especially concerning, but it’s likely that Gostkowski was trying to play through the hip injury. To bring him in this late into the game, Robinson must feel comfortable that Gostkowski is fully recovered and ready to get back to his accurate self.
This signing doesn’t just tell us that Gostkowski’s workout must have gone well, but it also tells us that the team wasn’t completely satisfied with the kicking competition that was currently ongoing between Greg Joseph and Tucker McCann.
Joseph entered camp as the favorite to earn placekicking duties for the Titans after going a perfect 18-for-18 on extra points and 1-for-1 on field goal attempts after signing with the team late last season. He didn’t exactly get much work in, but he did what was asked of him at an efficient rate.
Reports out of training camp have pointed out that while both kickers have looked solid, neither has looked spectacular. After last year’s kicking woes, Robinson can’t afford to take any more chances with the kicking game.
The team waived Joseph to make room for Gostkowski on the 80-man roster. McCann sticks for now, but he is almost certain to be cut by the Saturday 3:00 p.m. CT deadline for rosters to be down to 53 across the league. Maybe the Titans keep McCann’s big leg stashed on the 16-man practice squad for the season as a locked and loaded backup plan.
Gostkowski becomes the third former Vrabel teammate to play for him in Tennessee, joining former kicker Ryan Succop and former safety Kendrick Lewis. Vrabel will hope that he can fix the Titans kicking woes that saw Cairo Santos, Cody Parkey, Succop, and Joseph combine to hit just 8-of-18 field goal attempts during the 2019 regular season.