Stephen Gostkowski: Taking my time made me sure I wanted to stay in New England

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The Patriots signed kicker Stephen Gostkowski to a two-year contract last week and that means the 13-year veteran will stay in the only uniform he’s ever worn in the NFL.

Gostkowski’s deal came after a report that talks with the team were at a standstill and word that the 49ers had interest in signing the veteran kicker. Gostkowski said that “it was really tough for me to think I was ever going to leave,” but that he felt he had to explore every option and that the process wound up reinforcing his feeling that he wanted to stay put.

“But having the extra time, and waiting and taking my time, really made me know that I was 100 percent wanting to be here,” Gostkowski said, via Mike Reiss of ESPN.com. “I’m so blessed to have a chance to play 15 years in one spot. I know my position is different than most. But even in my position, guys that have played it this long, have probably already been with two or three different teams. We love it here. My family loves it here. It would have been a lot to leave.”

Gostkowski will enter the 2019 season in third place in career field goal percentage and his new deal will give him a chance to continue climbing other leaderboards through at least his 37th birthday.