With the NFL Draft barely two weeks away, many teams have slowed down on their free agent spending and contract work until they know which rookies will be joining their squads for the 2019 season. As usual, the standard rules don’t apply to the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots, who have opened the purse straps with new contracts, signings and important free agent visits Wednesday.
Pats Re-Sign Stephen Gostkowski
There will be no big moves in the kicking game for the Patriots. They have retained the services of two-time All Pro kicker Stephen Gostkowski. The four-time Pro Bowler will kick for the Patriots for another two seasons after agreeing to a an $8.5 million contract.
— NFL (@NFL) April 9, 2019
Gostkowski has kicked for New England since the team selected him in the fourth round of the 2006 draft out of Memphis. Gostkowski has a career field goal average of 87.4 percent and last year completed 84.4 percent of his kicks, with two from beyond 50 yards.
The 35-year-old kicker has helped the Patriots win three Super Bowls and is 39-of-44 in field goals in the postseason in his 13-year career.
New England adds Austin Sefarian-Jenkins as free agent
There’s a huge, Gronk-sized hole in New England’s roster and while Austin Sefarian-Jenkins won’t fill it, he’ll at least help stop the bleeding. The Patriots added Sefarian-Jenkins on a one-year deal Wednesday.
Patritos have signed veteran TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins to a one-year deal, per @FieldYates.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 10, 2019
Sefarian-Jenkins spent most of last season on injured reserve. He played in five games for the Jacksonville Jaguars, catching 11 passes for 90 yards and a touchdown. The 6-5, 262-pound tight end was a former second round pick out of Washington by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2014.
Sefarian-Jenkins joins a crowded Patriots depth chart with Jacob Hollister, Stephen Anderson, Matt LaCross and Ryan Izzo all vying for playing time. Don’t be surprised to see New England look hard at tight end in the upcoming draft.
Could Demaryuis Thomas or T.J Yeldon be next?
Former star wideout Demaryius Thomas took a visit with the Patriots on Wednesday. Thomas finished last season hobbled by an Achilles injury, but it’s reportedly healed. He played for the Denver Broncos and Houston Texans in 2018 after a trade, finishing 2018 with 59 catches, 677 yards and five touchdowns.
The Patriots had longtime Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas and former Jaguars RB T.J. Yeldon in for a free agent visit today, per source. They continue to look for more offensive weapons.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) April 10, 2019
Yeldon had five starts for the Jaguars last season and appeared in 14 games, rushing for 414 yards and a touchdown while averaging 4.0 yards per carry.