The Patriots have released Stephen Gostkowski. That puts them in the market for a kicker while officially ending the highest-scoring run by a player at that position in league history.

Gostkowski spent 14 years in New England, winning three Super Bowls. Others (including his predecessor, Adam Vinatieri) have scored more career points. But Gostkowski had the most high-scoring seasons.

Only 12 times in NFL history has a kicker scored more than 150 points in a season. Gostkowski has five of those seasons; nobody else has done it more than once.

Gostkowski has scored at least 140 points seven times. Also the most all-time. Justin Tucker is moving up in this regard; he’s got five of those seasons. Only two other kickers have reached 140 points three times – David Akers and Mason Crosby.

I am not, by the way, suggesting that Gostkowski has special abilities that other kickers do not. All of those points can be attributed more to his situation rather than him being better than other kickers. Wherever Gostkowski lands this year, I don’t see him as particularly likely to score 130 points.

Gostkowski is 36 and missed most of a last year after undergoing hip surgery. He’ll need to prove his healthy, and then some team likely will sign him.

The Patriots are likely looking at rookie kickers to potentially draft or sign. They also could sign a veteran free agent. Greg Zuerlein and Ryan Succop are currently on the mark. But this isn’t the choice landing spot it’s been for most of the last 20 years. Unlikely that New England ranks in the top 5 in kicking points again this season.

2011David Akers, S.F.166
1998Gary Anderson, Minn.164
2003Jeff Wilkins, St.L.163
1983Mark Moseley, Wash.161
2013Stephen Gostkowski, N.E.158
2016Matt Bryant, Atl.158
2017Greg Zuerlein, LAR158
2003Mike Vanderjagt, Ind.157
2014Stephen Gostkowski, N.E.156
2017Stephen Gostkowski, N.E.156
2012Stephen Gostkowski, N.E.153
2015Stephen Gostkowski, N.E.151
2013Matt Prater, Den.150
2018Ka'imi Fairbairn, Hou.150
2014Cody Parkey, Phil.150
1991Chip Lohmiller, Wash.149
2008Stephen Gostkowski, N.E.148
2005Jay Feely, NYG148
2011John Kasay, N.O.147
2019Harrison Butker, K.C.147
2009Nate Kaeding, S.D.146
2015Graham Gano, Car.146
2017Robbie Gould, S.F.145
1999Mike Vanderjagt, Ind.145
2012Lawrence Tynes, NYG145
1996John Kasay, Car.145
1968Jim Turner, NYJ145
2019Wil Lutz, N.O.144
1999Olindo Mare, Mia.144
2013Nick Novak, S.D.144
1985Kevin Butler, Chi.144
2008David Akers, Phil.144
2013Stephen Hauschka, Sea.143
2011Stephen Gostkowski, N.E.143
2006Robbie Gould, Chi.143
2012Matt Bryant, Atl.143
2008John Carney, NYG143
2010David Akers, Phil.143
2010Sebastian Janikowski, Oak.142
2017Harrison Butker, K.C.142
2017Chris Boswell, Pitt.142
1995Norm Johnson, Pitt.141
2007Mason Crosby, G.B.141
2013Mason Crosby, G.B.141
2016• Justin Tucker, Balt.141
2017• Justin Tucker, Balt.141
2018• Justin Tucker, Balt.141
2019• Justin Tucker, Balt.141
2012Blair Walsh, Minn.141
2004Adam Vinatieri, N.E.141
2017Wil Lutz, N.O.140
1986Tony Franklin, N.E.140
1998Steve Christie, Buff.140
2013Phil Dawson, S.F.140
2005Neil Rackers, Ariz.140
2011Mason Crosby, G.B.140
2013• Justin Tucker, Balt.140
2014Adam Vinatieri, Ind.140

—Ian Allan