Franchising Gostkowski will cost the Patriots $4.126 million guaranteed for the 2015, as opposed to $9.618 million had they used the tag on McCourty.
Gostkowski, 31, was clearly the best available kicker in this year’s pool of free agents, and using the tag on him will buy them some additional time negotiate a long-term deal that would reduce his 2015 cap figure.
In 2014, he converted 35 of 37 field goal attempts and all 51 extra point attempts for the Patriots. Pro Football Focus has Gostkowski rated as the No. 21 kicker in the league last year.