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Patriots place franchise tag on Stephen Gostkowski, leaving Devin McCourty to test market

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Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Just the Patriots being Patriots. They have placed the franchise tag on their kicker, Stephen Gostkowski, according to sources close to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

What this means for the Raiders purposes, as well as quite a few teams, is former Pro Bowl safety, Devin McCourty, will go unprotected and is likely to test the free agent market.

The Raiders will very much be in the market for a safety. They cut Tyvon Branch this offseason and Charles Woodson will turn 39 this season, making this likely his final NFL season.

McCourty is a free safety by trade, since switching from cornerback early in his career. With Woodson playing well at strong safety last season, the two of them could see the field together in the Raiders defense. It's an intriguing possibility.