BOSTON (CBS) — In a surprising but not-so-shocking move, the Patriots released kicker Stephen Gostkowski last month. The 36-year-old hasn’t found a new NFL home yet, but he’s not ready to hang up his cleats.
Gostkowski missed most of the 2019 season with a hip injury, landing on injured reserve in early October. He’s eager to kick again in 2020, and told NBC Sports Boston’s Tom E. Curran that he’s confident he’ll find a new team when things return to normal amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“I’m not ready to just hang it up. 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,” Gostkowski told Curran. “I’m not concerned. I kind of take things day by day.”
While a 36-year-old coming off a season-ending hip injury may give some teams pause, Gostkowski said he’s feeling better every day.
“I’m trying to keep getting in better and better shape and I’ve probably done more so far this year as I would heading into a normal season,” he said. “So I feel like I’m ahead of where I usually am and I have nothing but time.”
The Patriots drafted Gostkowski in 2006 to take over for legendary kicker Adam Vinatieri, a move that was met with some hesitation by Patriots fans. But Gostowski went on to win a trio of Super Bowls of his own in New England, and left as the franchise’s all-time leader in points.
“We’ve been so successful as a team, there’s nothing for me to complain about,” he said of his release. “We have had it really good and finally being done with the Patriots, it’s fun to actually look back at it and be able to talk about it in a positive way. When you’re in it and in the mode, you can never like, sit back and pat yourself on the back or talk about how good it was because you’d win, get drunk at the parade and after that you’re like, ‘OK, can’t talk about it anymore.’ It’s fun to look back and everything I look back at is all positive memories.
“I never even thought I’d play in the NFL, let alone for 14 years for the same team,” he added. “So there’s no feeling sorry for myself. I’m very blessed and grateful for the opportunity that I had.”
Gostkowski said his quarantine is going well, and his three kids are now enjoy being together, which he called “forced family fun.”