Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Tennessee Titans are signing former Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski, the team announced Thursday morning. Gostkowski attended the University of Memphis and lives in the Nashville area. The 36-year-old recently had the opportunity to work out for the Titans and it led to his signing. 

Gostkowski is a three-time Super Bowl champion as well as a four-time Pro Bowl selection and a three-time All-Pro. Over the course of 14 seasons with New England, he converted 374 of 428 fields goals (87.4-percent). The Mississippi native was drafted in the fourth round of the 2006 NFL Draft to replace the revered Adam Vinatieri. Gostkowski’s time in New England ended as the franchise’s all-time leader in points scored (1,775). Entering the 2019 season, Gostkowski had missed just eight games over 13 seasons. In his final year with the AFC East franchise, he missed 12 games with a hip injury that required surgery. The decision to release him was based on a need to create salary cap space.

Coach Bill Belichick was uncharacteristically wordy in his farewell to the kicker.

“I have had the privilege of coaching some of the best specialists in the NFL and Stephen Gostkowski is one of them,” Belichick said, via ESPN.

“Stephen had many highlights over his 14 years as a Patriot and one of the most impressive was the way it began, when he succeeded the most accomplished kicker in NFL history. For some, this may have been too difficult a challenge. But from his rookie year, Stephen exuded a maturity and confidence that demonstrated he was up to the task. He made several crucial kicks his rookie year and established a top level of performance and consistency for years and years to come. Stephen is a great teammate who made outstanding contributions over a decade of championship football.”

The Titans struggled to find consistency in their placekicking unit last season. Four different kickers — including veteran Ryan Succop, who held down the position from 2014-2019 — combined to make 8 of 18 field goals attempted. 

In a corresponding move, Tennessee waived kicker Greg Joseph, which leaves undrafted rookie Tucker McCann as the only other kicker on the roster. 

The Titans season opens Monday, Sep. 14 on the road against the Denver Broncos. 

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