Source: Patriots extend Gostkowski

The Patriots have reached a contract extension with kicker Stephen Gostkowski, according to an NFL source. The extension is through 2014 and averages approximately $3.5 million per season, putting Gostkowski among the highest-paid kickers in the NFL.

Gostkowski was a restricted free agent this offseason, having signed his one-year, $1.79 million tender offer. He was among the players who would have been an unrestricted free agent, but he reverted to restricted free-agent status in an uncapped season.

Gostkowski entered the NFL as a fourth-round draft choice of the Patriots in 2006 and had the tough job of replacing Adam Vinatieri, one of the most clutch kickers in the history of the game.

Entering the 2010 season, Gostkowski has hit 103-of-121 career field-goal attempts. His 85.1 percent accuracy rate is the highest in Patriots history.

He has also proven to be a weapon in the field-position game with his strong leg on kickoffs.

More on this to come.