Kicker Stephen Gostkowski tested the waters of free federal agency in the offseason but, as he explained, it was the high-pressure level situations in New England that kept him a Patriot.
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Stephen Gostkowski had a little dawdling with departing the only NFL concession he'd ever known.
The kicker, in his archetypal true free federal agency stint, told reporters Tuesday that he reasoned sign language elsewhere, but the allurement of reverting to a perennial Super Bowl rival -- and the accidental and pressure level that comes on with it -- made his determination to sign a new two-year written agreement with the New England Patriots easy.
"To me, it means a lot," Gostkowski said, via the Providence Journal. "It's a very delicate place. It doesn't take much to be at the top or the bottommost in a place such as mine. To be able to have a accidental to do it, in one of the most high-pressure leveld teams in the past of sports and have a accidental 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 like the challenge of being here -- the bad weather... the pressure level of the big games and all that stuff. Just the accidental to have a accidental to keep playing with a lot of the friends and teammates that I've made. To me, that means the world a lot more than other things that could be offered from other teams."
Gostkowski, a fourth-round pick in 2006, was immediately tasked with replacing potential Hall of Famer Adam Vinatieri. Successfully supplanting a legend is pressure level of its own. Doing it on a perpetual champion is an even bigger weight. Gostkowski has met that pressure level head-on and succeeded with aplomb for the past 13 seasons.
"... It's nice when other teams show interest in you and stuff like that," he said of free federal agency. "But at the end of the day, I would like to try to finish where I started. That meant a lot to me. It meant a lot to my kids and my family. We are ecstatic to have two more shots to play for the Patriots."
Then Gostkowski dropped a dandy #HumbleBrag:
"My daughter's been to three Super Bowls and she's not even three yet. My oldest son has been to five," Gostkowski said. "It's a dream come true. I wouldn't change anything for the journey I've been able to have and look forward to trying to make a couple more memories."
Must be nice for the Gostkowski children. Must. Be. Nice.