The New England Patriots recognized the value of a reliable kicker like Nick Folk.
Late on the first day of the NFL’s legal tampering period, the Patriots re-signed Folk to a two-year, $5 million contract, NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero reported Monday night.
Folk’s new contract features $2.19 million guaranteed and a maximum value of $5.6 million, which can be earned through incentives.
That’s a nice raise for a player who’s been one of the league’s most consistent field-goal kickers over the past two seasons. Folk played on a one-year, $1.05 million contract in 2020 and a one-year, $1.625 million deal in 2021.
In those two seasons, Folk converted 92.9% and 92.3% of his field-goal attempts, making him one of just three kickers (along with Las Vegas’ Daniel Carlson and Atlanta’s Younghoe Koo) to top 92% in both. The 37-year-old has not missed a field goal from inside 50 yards since the 2020 season opener.
“He’s really good,” head coach Bill Belichick said in November.
Folk’s new contract also serves as a reward for his perseverance. Before joining the Patriots midway through the 2019 season, he had been out of the NFL for more than two full years, with some of that time spent kicking in the short-lived Alliance of American Football.
“Obviously, we have all the confidence in the world in putting him out there every week, and he’s doing everything he can to keep himself there and maintain his body and be ready to go,” special teams coordinator Cam Achord said after Folk earned AFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors last October. “Obviously, he’s delivered some big kicks for us, and hopefully he’ll continue that moving forward.”
The Patriots have a developmental kicker under contract in big-legged 2021 undrafted free agent Quinn Nordin, but Folk’s guaranteed salary all but locks him into a roster spot for 2022.
One day into the NFL’s tampering window, New England thus far has only re-signed its own players, reaching new deals with safety Devin McCourty, special teamer Matthew Slater, backup quarterback Brian Hoyer, offensive lineman James Ferntz and now Folk. They have yet to agree to terms with any external free agents.