The NY Jets still haven’t found a solution for the kicker position, but perhaps that solution could come with New England Patriots legend Stephen Gostkowski.
The NY Jets‘ kicking situation was one of the predominant storylines of the early portion of last season. And when the kicker position is dominating headlines, it usually isn’t for the right reasons.
After an unlikely Pro Bowl season from free-agent pickup Jason Myers, the Jets opted to move on in the offseason. Unfortunately, the attempt to replace their star kicker didn’t exactly go according to plan.
Soon, Green Bay Packers castoff Sam Ficken was signed to replace the woeful Vedvik. And to his credit, he did manage to hold on to the position for the remainder of the season. Still, his numbers by the season’s end were nothing too encouraging.
Ficken made 19-of-27 of his field-goal attempts for a lackluster 70 percent hit rate. The former Los Angeles Rams kicker also missed three of his 26 extra-point attempts further solidifying his disappointing season.
The Jets can do better — and it’s unlikely that former Dallas Cowboys kicker Brett Maher is the answer. They need an established player at the position.
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And it’s hard to get more established than a four-time Pro Bowler, two-time All-Pro, and three-time Super Bowl champion.
The New England Patriots surprised a lot of people when they decided to part ways with kicker Stephen Gostkowski this offseason after 14 seasons with the team. But their loss could be another team’s gain.
The potential future Hall of Famer recently told ESPN that he’s awaiting an opportunity to play with a new organization and he believes he’ll have that opportunity by the time training camp comes around — whenever that might be.
Gostkowski went on to say that he “wants to try to find a place where [he] can have a chance to compete” and that “there’s usually two, three, four spots that are up in the air, but you just have to find the right place.”
Expect one of those spots that are “up in the air” to be with the Jets.
It would be a mistake to roll into the preseason with the duo of Ficken and Maher competing for the kicker job. Gostkowski, meanwhile, would immediately solidify the position.
The 36-year-old missed most of last season with a hip injury but still made seven of his eight kicks. And since 2011, Gostkowski has never posted a field-goal percentage below 82 percent including four seasons of 90 percent or higher.
He’s been arguably the most consistent kicker in the NFL for well over a decade and he’s kicked in some of the most crucial moments in Patriots history. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more appealing option on the open market.
Provided Gostkowski’s hip is 100 percent and he’s ready to go by Week 1, there’s no reason the Jets shouldn’t do everything they can to sign their longtime nemesis.