It is a move that helps the salary-cap-strapped team create more space but leaves a notable void at the position. The move was first reported Monday by the Boston Globe.
Gostkowski, who is coming off left hip surgery that shortened his 2019 season to just four games, has been the team’s full-time kicker since 2006 when he replaced legendary Adam Vinatieri. He is the franchise’s all-time leading scorer with 1,775 points.
The 36-year-old Gostkowski was the Patriots’ longest-tenured player once quarterback Tom Brady signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week. He was scheduled to count $4.8 million against the salary cap in 2020.
The Patriots, who have nearly $23 million in cap charges for players not on their roster (which includes $13.5 million for Brady) currently don’t have another kicker on their roster. Veteran Nick Folk finished last season in that role, and remains an unrestricted free agent.
The next-longest tenured Patriots player is special teamer Matthew Slater, who has been with New England for 12 seasons.