Gostkowski comes up clutch in Patriots win over Jets


Gostkowski comes up clutch in Patriots win over Jets

FOXBORO -- Stephen Gostkowski could have relished Sunday's postgame.
After New England's 29-26 win over the Jets he could have taken his time getting changed while the media hoard grew around his locker. The kicker could have grinned while pulling on his socks, back against the reporters who grilled him about the Cardinals in Week 2, before turning to embrace Week 7's gushing about how he won the night.
But he skipped the whole show.
Gostkowski, who stood accountable after missing the potential game-winning 42-yard field goal against Arizona, ducked reporters this Sunday. It would have been a happier conference -- he made one from 43 to force overtime against the pesky Jets, and made another from 48 to finish them off.
The kicks were as clutch as any in his career. Punter Zoltan Mesko seemed to know as much when answering questions on Gostkowski's behalf.
"Best feeling in the world for the guy next to me," he said, nodding toward the vacant locker.
Mesko couldn't avoid the fact his teammates success would be held against Week 2's failure. He admitted the upswing was great -- how could he not? -- but scoffed at the idea it was implausible.
"I mean, I never lost hope . . . " Mesko said, screwing up his face in good-natured annoyance. "He's the guy we trust. He's like a brother to me because we're together all the time."
The ups and downs are perhaps viewed more violently on the outside.
When kickers are consistent, does anyone notice? How many made second quarter field goals are burned into our brains?
Reporters only crowd around a kicker when he saves a game or screws it up.
Gostkowski did talk after Buffalo three weeks ago. He had missed back-to-back attempts from 49 and 42 yards in the Patriots 52-28 win over the Bills. Though there was no loss to pin to his foot, it was considered an "off" day and he was expected to answer for it.
Have to ride the wave," Gostkowski had said. "Got knocked off board a couple times. Going to get right back up.
"You can get too high on yourself when youre doing really well, or you cant get too low on yourself when you do bad."
Maybe that's what this Sunday's disappearance was about -- not getting too high. A kicker who makes field goals is just doing what's expected of him, right? No matter the opponent, no matter the score.
"We're going to have our waves, we've just got to ride them less and less," Mesko explained. "I mean, don't make them as big as they are."
To Gostkowski's credit, those field goals couldn't have been bigger.

Kraft on possible Patriots reunion with Revis: 'I would love it'

Kraft on possible Patriots reunion with Revis: 'I would love it'

It was reported last week that multiple NFL executives are convinced that Darrelle Revis will return to the New England Patriots next season.

Talking with the New York Daily News, Patriots owner Robert Kraft said he’d be open to a reunion with the 31-year-old cornerback.

“I would love it,” Kraft said. “Speaking for myself, if he wanted to come back, he’s a great competitor, I’d welcome him if he wanted to come.”

Asked if the team has had discussions with Revis, Kraft said “ask my boy,” in reference to coach Bill Belichick.

Revis spent the 2014 season with the Patriots, helping them win Super Bowl XLIX. He bolted back to the New York Jets the next season, signing a five-year, $70 million contract ($39 million guaranteed).

The Jets released Revis earlier this month after the incident in Pittsburgh. A judge dismissed the charges.

Kraft says intention is not to trade Butler: 'We hope he's with us'

Kraft says intention is not to trade Butler: 'We hope he's with us'

PHOENIX -- The idea that Malcolm Butler could be traded by the Patriots before the start of the 2017 season has been floated for weeks. But if Robert Kraft had his way, he'd like for the hero of Super Bowl XLIX to stick around. 

At the Biltmore hotel on Day 2 of the league's annual meetings, Kraft was asked if he anticipated having Butler back in New England for next season.

"I sure hope so," he said. "We have [a first-round tender] out to him, and I know he has the ability to go out in the market and get someone to sign him, and then we either match it or get the first-round draft pick.

"I'm rooting, I hope, he's with us and signs his offer sheet and plays for us. I have a great affection for him. He was part of probably the greatest play in the history of our team, but there are a lot of people involved in that."

The Patriots can't trade any player who isn't under contract, and they can't talk about a trade for a player not on their roster. Therefore, even if the Patriots hoped to deal Butler and get something in return for the Pro Bowl-caliber corner before he hits unrestricted free agency in 2018, it's not something that the owner of the team would be at liberty to discuss with dozens of microphones in front of his face. 

The tender offer of $3.91 million for one season is still out there for Butler. He could sign it and play in New England. He could sign it and be traded. For now, Kraft says he's hoping for the former -- and insists that the Patriots didn't have designs on the latter all along.

"I don't want to, in any way, take away from his rights [as a restricted free agent]," he said, adding, "I want to be clear. I hope he's with us."