Super Bowl 2015: Free Agents the Bengals Should Watch

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Nov 2, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski (3) kicks for three points against the Denver Broncos during the first quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

4. player. 47. . K. New England Patriots. Stephen Gostkowski

Stephen Gostkowski has been the Patriots kicker since 2006.  He’s been an impressive kicker across his career.  The only downside was a 2010 thigh injury that caused him to be placed on the I.R.  He’s recovered well since and covered a career best 94.6% of his field goals this past year.  More than this, Gostkowski has proven to be excellent on kickoffs.  His performance in this regard helped the Patriots’ special teams force opponents to start with the second most difficult field position in the league.  Gostkowski has proven himself to be one of the league’s best kickers across his career.

Conversely, Bengals kicker Mike Nugent has struggled to be effective over the past few years.  His performance has been average at best as both a place kicker and on kickoffs.  The first four games of this past year were particularly awful for Nugent.  He started the year 11 of 17 and ended this horrible stretch missing a game-winning field goal in overtime versus the Panthers.

The Patriots retention of Gostkowski isn’t a given.  He was the league’s second most expensive kicker this past season, and the last time the Patriots faced a situation where their kicker was looking for a big payday, they let Super Bowl hero Adam Vinatieri go to the Indianapolis Colts.

If the Bengals are looking to upgrade the kicker position and are willing to spend (two big ifs), then signing Gostkowski wouldn’t be out of the question.

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