When the New York Giants placed a 2nd-round tender on Aldrick Rosas this offseason, the team believed they were set at kicker for the 2020 season. However, after an arrest this past Monday stemming from an alleged hit-and-run incident involving Rosas, the position has become a bit murkier and potentially put Big Blue in the market for a new kicker.
Good news for Giants faithful, there’s a storied, highly-productive kicker currently looking for employment, one with big-time connections to new head coach Joe Judge, dating back to his New England Patriots days.
Stephen Gostkowski & Joe Judge, The Perfect Reunion?
Believe it or not, Stephen Gostkowski, not Adam Vinatieri, holds the honor of being the Patriots all-time leader in points scored, and frankly, it’s not even close. The kicker enjoyed an all-time great career in New England, culminating in four Pro Bowl berths and three Lombardi trophies.
More than half of Gostkowski’s brilliant 14-year run in Foxborough occurred under the watchful eye of Joe Judge. Judge served as the team’s special teams assistant from 2012-2014 and then was elevated to special teams coordinator where he served from 2015 up until taking the Giants head coaching job this offseason.
The Patriots opted to release Gostkowski in late March of this year following an injury-riddled 2019 campaign. The kicker was placed on season-ending injured reserve following Week 4, and ultimately underwent hip surgery shortly after. However, the 2x All-Pro believes the injury is now completely in his rearview and is eyeing a return to the NFL gridiron this coming season.
“I’m not ready to just hang it up,” Gostkowski told NBC Sports Boston’s Tom E. Curran back in early April. “I’m gonna try to play. I feel good,” he continued. “I’m starting to feel better. I’m trying to keep getting in better and better shape and I’ve probably done more so far this year as I would heading into a normal season so I feel like I’m ahead of where I usually am and I have nothing but time.”
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Comparing Gostkowski & Rosas
It was not long ago that Aldrick Rosas, still just 25-years-old, looked to be on the verge of reaching elite status amongst NFL kickers. His 2018 season was tremendous, hitting on 32 of his 33 field goal attempts for a field goal percentage of 97.0 percent. With that said, Rosas came back down to earth in 2019, seeing his field goal percentage drop by 26.4 to 70.6, much more in-line with his previous season’s outputs.
In terms of Gostkowski, his success in the league has been well-publicized. His career field goal percentage sits behind only Baltimore Ravens’ Justin Tucker amongst all kickers in NFL history with at least six years of experience.
Gostkowski did see a drop in production a season ago, namely on extra points, where his conversion rate dropped from a career-98.3 percent to just 73.3 percent (career-low). Although, it’s certainly plausible to write off his decreased accuracy to his hip injury.
It’s important to note that there is no guarantee that the Giants move on from Rosas. We don’t know all the facts at the moment regarding his arrest, and the franchise clearly believes in his talent or they wouldn’t have handed him a $3.259 million deal this offseason. With that said, the fact that following his arrest, court records have since revealed that Rosas had a previous DUI back in 2016, certainly doesn’t help his case to stick around East Rutherford.
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