The New England Patriots are keeping Stephen Gostkowski around, and they’re reportedly paying him a handsome sum to do so.
Four days after the team opted to place its franchise tag on Gostkowski, the Patriots kicker signed a franchise tender worth $4.59 million to stay in New England, a source told ESPN’s Field Yates on Friday.
Gostkowski, who was named to his second straight Pro Bowl in 2014, is slated to earn 120 percent of the standard franchise tender for kickers ($4.126 million), but has until July 15 to negotiate a long-term deal with the club.
The 31-year-old had his most accurate season as a pro in 2014, connecting on 35 of 37 field goals for a 94.6 conversion rate, second in the NFL behind Adam Vinatieri of the Indianapolis Colts.
Gostkowski’s recent success is unquestioned, but many expected New England to use its franchise tag on safety Devin McCourty, who will be a top commodity when he hits free agency March 10.
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