4 free-agent kickers the Panthers should target for camp competition

Dean Jones
(Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports) Dan Bailey
(Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports) Dan Bailey /
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Carolina Panthers
(Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports) Stephen Gostkowski /

Stephen Gostkowski

Another notable name on the free-agent market is Stephen Gostkowski, who is one of the most decorated kickers in NFL history. In addition to a reliable veteran presence, he would also give the Carolina Panthers experience of being around a winning organization in the New England Patriots for almost his entire career.

Gostkowski’s credentials are there for all to see. He is a three-time Super Bowl champion, earned two All-Pro selections, and is a four-time Pro Bowler from a 15-year career to date.

The kicker was also named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2010s in recognition of his exceptional consistency in crucial situations for Bill Belichick’s men during their unprecedented period of dominance – something that former Panther duo Luke Kuechly and Julius Peppers also earned.

If one just looked at these accolades, it would be a head-scratcher as to why Gostkowski is still sitting on the free-agent market looking for a new home.

However, his time on the Tennessee Titans in 2020 didn’t go according to plan and resulted in a 69.2 percent field goal success rate over 15 games, which was the lowest of his glittering career by a substantial margin.

Next. 4 key stats that should improve for the Carolina Panthers in 2021. dark

Unsurprisingly, the Titans opted to part ways with Gostkowski, who may have fallen off the cliff in terms of production last time out. The Carolina Panthers could take a look at camp and see if this is the case for themselves, and the veteran is also someone Joey Slye could learn from for as long as he’s around.