If Patriots can’t connect with Stephen Gostkowski, former Assumption star turned SEC standout could fit

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(Courtesy Louisiana State University)

Hard not to notice the fact we’re almost three weeks into free agency, and the Patriots have yet to sign their own veteran kicker to a new deal -- one report Tuesday said there's "not much happening" between the two sides at this point.

It’s also hard not to notice the fact the best kicker in this year’s draft knows something about what it takes to succeed when it comes to kicking in the occasionally unforgiving climate of eastern New England.

LSU’s Cole Tracy, who started his college career at Assumption in Worcester, climbed the collegiate ladder the last few years, eventually reaching a point in 2018 where he’s now considered the best kicker in the draft.

College kickers can be a little dicey sometimes, but the truth is Tracy was as steady as anyone in the nation last year. He was named a 2018 AP second-team All-American, second-team All-American by the Associated Press and first-team All-SEC after connecting on all 42 of his extra point attempts and 29 of 33 field goal tries (87.9 percent). Three of his four misses came from 50-plus, and he had a season-long of 54 yards.

His best moments came was when he went 5-for-5 in LSU’s upset of Georgia, as well as this game-winner to beat Auburn (with some musical accompaniment).

So with Gostkowski still unsigned, the draft less than a month away, could we see the Patriots pursue the former Massachusetts college star with a mid- to late-round pick?