Bill Belichick Thanks Stephen Gostkowski Following Patriots All-Time Leading Scorer's Release From Team

Former New England Patriots All-Pro kicker Stephen Gostkowski, who was released this week
Former New England Patriots All-Pro kicker Stephen Gostkowski, who was released this week / Al Bello/Getty Images

If there is anyone that knows the value of a kicker on an NFL team, it is Bill Belichick. The New England Patriots head coach watched Adam Vinateri boot his team to multiple championships, and has also happened to benefit from multiple missed kicks by opponents his way to six world titles. As a man who started as a special teams coach, it isn't surprising for him to take special care with this phase of the game.

That is why today's touching tribute from Belichick to the services of Stephen Gostkowski was so typical of the head coach. Gostkowski, who helped the Pats win three Super Bowls during his 14 years with the team, was released this week after battling injuries in 2019. Rather than drop a boilerplate statement cooked up by the PR team, Belichick put out a personal message in honor of the departing kicker.

Succeeding a guy like Vinatieri should have been an impossible task. Let Belichick be the first to declare that, somehow, Gostkowski found a way to do it.

It was a classy gesture toward one of the key players that built this dynasty in Foxborough. With as much praise as Tom Brady gets, many of the playoff success can also be attributed to the constant dependability of Gostkowski, who has an incredible 88.6% field goal success rate in his playoff career. Being the kicker for the Patriots comes with a lot of pressure, and he handled it brilliantly.

Gostkowski will almost certainly be a Hall of Famer one day, and now, the organization is right to treat his departure with class. If you're as impactful as this man was, this franchise is going to spare no effort to let you know it in uncertain terms.