Patriots kicker would have found Stephen Gostkowski’s replacement

Patriots kicker, For the first time in nine years, the Patriots will have a new kicker after taking the field on Sunday.
Patriots kicker would have found Stephen Gostkowski's replacement
(Photo/Mark Zaleski)
According to ESPN.com, New England decided to recruit veteran kicker Mike Nugent, one of seven players recruited to join the team after Stephen Gostkowski was placed in the injured reserve on Wednesday. Gostkowski, the Patriots kicker since 2006, is absent during the season after having injured his hip this week. The 35-year-old man is expected to undergo hip surgery in the near future and return for the 2020 season.

In his 14 seasons with the team, Gostkowski had wasted his time only once. In 2010, he lost eight games. After his departure, the Patriots brought Shayne Graham, who is the only other butler in the Patriots for 14 years.

Nugent was the last player to participate in a seven-kart test that included Kai Forbath, Elliott Fry, Blair Walsh, Matthew Wright, Younghoe Koo, and Josh Gable.

Although Nugent is a longtime NFL veteran who has been in the league since 2005, he has only started three games since the end of the 2017 season. The 37-year-old began the 2018 season with the Raiders but was placed on the injured reserve list only three weeks after the start of the season after suffering a hip injury similar to Gostkowski’s.

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In his three games with the Raiders, Nugent scored 100% of his goals (6 of 6) and 80% of his extra points (80%). If any number concerns the Patriots, it is this additional number of points. From 2016 to 2018, Nugent had the worst percentage of extra points (82.4%) of all the NFL kickers who had tested more than 10.

Of course, Nugent will take care of a kicker who also had trouble getting extra points. In the first four games of the season, Gostkowski scored only 73.3% of his extra points (11 of 15), which is currently the second-lowest percentage among the NFL kickers in four weeks.
If Nugent fights, it seems that the Patriots will be ready with their replacement. According to ESPN.com, the team also decided to add Koo to the training team.

One of Nugent’s advantages that the Patriots have probably considered is that he has the most experience in eliminating all the kicks he has tried. In his 14-year NFL career, Nugent has played in the playoffs a total of five times and has been almost perfect in these games. In four appearances in the playoffs with the Bengals and one with the Jets, Nugent scored 7 of 8 goals and 5 of the 5 extra points.

By signing with the Patriots, Nugent could also have the opportunity to do something he has never done in his career: win a playoff game. In these five games with the Bengals and Jets, the Nugent teams won 0-5.

The Patriots will be the eighth team that Nugent has played since the Jets selected him in the second round of the 2005 NFL draft. In addition to the Jets, Bengals, and Raiders, Nugent also spent time with the Cardinals, Buccaneers, Cowboys and Bears.