Foxborough, MA– When the New England Patriots declined the use of the franchise tag for any of their players, it became a move that left kicker Stephen Gostkowski confused and in search of an explanation. "It put a different spin on things for me," Gostkowski said recently, after finally agreeing to a two year deal with the Patriots worth eight and a half million dollars.
Gostkowski thought about testing the waters of free agency, but ultimately, the Patriots scrounged up enough cap-friendly dollars to secure the retention of Gostkowski's talents. After 13 years without free agency, Gostkowski was tempted, but he ultimately knew that New England was one hundred percent his home. The three-time Super Bowl champion is here to stay!
When it's all you know, it makes sense to want to keep the train going, especially when it's been so successful. This was not necessarily the case for New England's most recent re-signing and most recent departure, however, as they have had a taste of what it's like to play football without being part of the famed "Patriot Way" moniker. Safety Patrick Chung and wide receiver Chris Hogan have been privy to other styles of football around the league, including with teams like the Philadelphia Eagles and the Buffalo Bills.
Chung was most recently seen with a debilitating arm injury that forced him off the field during Super Bowl LIII. The Patriots still won, but Chung's absence was felt as the Patriots had to rejigger their defensive schemes. The veteran will return to the Patriots on a one-year deal to keep him with the team through 2021 that is worth mostly upfront cash, per ESPN's Field Yates.
While Chung will be seen manning the defense in Gillette Stadium again next year, another player will not be sticking around. Chris Hogan has left New England to sign a one year deal with the Carolina Panthers. Hogan was a genius acquisition for the Patriots during his first two seasons with the team, but he quickly fell off last year and seemed to drop every pass that came his way. It might be time to move on from Hogan, but the Patriots faithful will never forget his performances in his prime!