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Stephen Gostkowski is available if Raiders seek veteran kicker

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Should Raiders consider replacing Daniel Carlson with Patriots veteran?

NFL: New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills
Stephen Gostkowski
Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The Raiders were connected to one longtime New England Patriots star this offseason. But that didn’t happen.

Now, the Raiders have a chance to pursue another longtime New England veteran as the Pats cut kicker Stephen Gostkowski on Monday after 14 seasons in Foxboro.

Many Raiders fans want the team to look for a new kicker because Daniel Carlson struggled in 2019, making just 19 of 26 field goal attempts throughout the season. He made just 6 of 12 attempts of 40 yards or longer. That is an issue ... he also missed two extra-point attempts.

However, Carlson was excellent in 2018. He made 16-for-17 field goals for the Raiders in 10 games. Having been drafted by the Minnesota Vikings (who traded two sixth-round picks to move up to take him) in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL draft out of Auburn, Carlson was cut by the Vikings on Sept. 17, 2018 after three missed field goals resulted in a tie against the Packers.

The Raiders then snapped him up, thinking Carlson would solve their kicking issues for the long term and perhaps fill the role for several years as Sebastian Janikowski had from 2000-16.

But Carlson’s struggles in 2019 were cause for concern.

It is a weak free agent kicker class and Gostkowski’s entry into the market is interesting. But he also comes with some red flags. He is 36 and played only four games last season because of injury, struggling in the games he did play in.

Also, it may not be wise to give up on Carlson, who is just 25, after one poor season in favor of an aging kicker, especially since the Raiders have other needs and a dwindling salary cap.

But Gruden does like veterans at certain positions, so perhaps Gostkowski’s availability will be considered.