Patriots Kicking Competition Football

FILE - In this Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020, file photo, New England Patriots kicker Nick Folk follows through on a successful field goal attempt in the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Tennessee Titans, in Foxborough, Mass. The Patriots have re-signed veteran Folk, giving rookie and 2020 fifth-round draft pick Justin Rohrwasser some competition for the job (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — The Patriots may not have settled on their replacement for kicker Stephen Gostkowski.

New England re-signed veteran Nick Folk on Monday, giving rookie fifth-round draft pick Justin Rohrwasser some competition for the job as the team moves into what coach Bill Belichick said was a "big week" for players to begin showing progress during the truncated training camp. Teams must trim their rosters to a league-mandated 53 players by Sept. 5.

"I think we're in position, hopefully, to string some good days together and have a lot of little things start to fit together in the overall big picture," Belichick said.

Whether that includes the 35-year-old Folk, a veteran of three other NFL teams, remains to be seen. He finished last season as New England's kicker after Gostkowski played just four games before going on injured reserve in October and having season-ending hip surgery.

It started a merry-go-round at the position, with the Patriots using three different kickers over the rest of the season.

But Folk brought steadiness to the job, connecting on 14 of 17 field goals and all 12 of his extra points in seven games. It included him missing a week to have an emergency appendectomy.

Gostkowski was released in March, creating a full-time opening for the job for the first time since New England drafted him in 2006.

After kicking on the Patriots' first day of padded practices last week, Rohrwasser went three straight workouts without attempting a kick in the presence of reporters. On the days he didn't kick he worked on conditioning, either running or at times riding an exercise bike on the sideline.

Asked early last week about him not kicking during practices Belichick said Rohrwasser, like all rookies, was going through an acclimation process.

"We'll see," Belichick said when asked about his confidence in Rohrwasser. "That's a process that we're working through, as well — the snapper, kicker, holder operation — and obviously, he can kick off, too. We'll see how all that goes."

Asked again on Friday about Rohrwasser's progress, Belichick remained vague.

"Everybody's making progress," he said.

Rohrwasser was back kicking on Monday, sharing attempts with Folk during situational scrimmage drills.

Both had success, each going 5 for 6 for the day.


More AP NFL: and

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.