Patriots’ lineup keeps on changing
The Associated Press
BOSTON — The Patriots said goodbye Monday to another longtime staple of their two-decade run of championships, releasing kicker and franchise leading scorer Stephen Gostkowski.
The three-time Super Bowl champion has spent his entire 14-year career in New England.
Drafted in 2006, Gostkowski has long passed Adam Vinatieri as the Patriots’ leading scorer with 1,775 points. Only Tom Brady (41), Vinatieri (32) and Jerry Rice (29) have played in more playoff games. His 205 postseason points are second to the 238 points by Vinatieri.
The 36-year-old Gostkowski started the first four games of 2019 but struggled, missing a career-high four extra points after not missing more than three in any of his previous 13 NFL seasons. He was placed on injured reserve in October and underwent season-ending hip surgery.
Viniatieri cemented his place in New England history by kicking two winning field goals in the Super Bowl before leaving for the Indianapolis Colts as a free agent in 2006.
Gostkowski did the same with his consistency, becoming one of the NFL’s most dependable kickers during his Patriots tenure. A two-time All-Pro, he missed only one extra point in his first 10 years in the league and appeared in every game for New England from 2011 through 2018.
His six Super Bowl appearances are tied for second behind Brady.
Gostkowski ends his Patriots tenure having made 87.4% (374 of 428) of his field-goal attempts. Veteran Nick Folk ended last season as New England’s kicker, but is currently a free agent.
LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Rams have unveiled a brand-new logo and some familiar new colors ahead of a milestone season.
The Rams’ primary colors are royal blue and yellow again after the franchise’s rebranding announcement, which was made Monday with rather less fanfare than the team originally hoped because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Rams’ new primary logo features an “LA” with a ram’s horn curved around the letters, while a new secondary logo is a modern update of the classic ram’s head logo occasionally used by the team in previous decades.
With new uniforms coming up later in the year, the Rams are finally getting their long-awaited new look before the fifth season of the franchise’s return to Los Angeles. The team is making changes in conjunction with the opening later this year of SoFi Stadium.
Chief operating officer Kevin Demoff said the Rams’ new uniforms will be unveiled at some point between the draft and training camp.
n The Redskins traded for a quarterback new coach Ron Rivera is familiar with. Washington acquired Kyle Allen from the Carolina Panthers. Allen becomes competition for 2019 first-round pick Dwayne Haskins. Rivera coached Allen with Carolina the past two seasons before being fired and repeatedly praised his toughness. Allen, 24, has thrown for 3,588 yards, 19 touchdowns and 17 interceptions in 15 NFL games in 2018 and 2019, all with the Panthers. He became their starter last season when Newton got hurt.
n The Seattle Seahawks acquired cornerback Quinton Dunbar from the Washington Redskins for a fifth-round pick. Dunbar had a career-best four interceptions last season for the Redskins. He has started 17 of the past 18 games he’s played for Washington.
n Travis Frederick said he thought he played well at center for the Dallas Cowboys after returning from a nerve disorder that sidelined him for an entire season. The 2016 All-Pro made it clear Monday it wasn’t good enough. He retired from the NFL at 29, saying he “could no longer perform at my highest level” even though he went to his fifth Pro Bowl in his only season after recovering from Guillian-Barre syndrome. A first-round pick seven years ago from Wisconsin, Frederick missed all of 2018 after getting diagnosed with the auto-immune disease during training camp. According to the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Guillain-Barre causes the body to attack a network of nerves around the brain and spinal cord. Most people recover from even the most severe cases, which can include temporary paralysis, but some will continue to have some degree of weakness, according to the institute.
n The New York Giants have reached agreements on one-year contracts with running back Dion Lewis and wide receiver Corey Coleman. Lewis spent the past two seasons with the Tennessee Titans. He was released earlier this month in a salary-cap move. Playing behind Derrick Henry, he carried 54 times for 209 yards. He rushed for 2,310 yards and 11 touchdowns and caught 172 passes for 1,281 yards and seven scores in his seven seasons. He has also played in nine postseason games, including two Super Bowls. Coleman missed all of 2019 with a knee injury sustained in training camp. He was a 2016 first-round draft choice by the Cleveland Browns.