FOXBOROUGH — The Patriots cut kicker Mike Nugent Tuesday and, according to the NFL Network, signed Nick Folk as his replacement.
Folk, 34, last kicked in the NFL in 2017 with the Buccaneers, when he made 6 of 11 field goal attempts in four games. Coincidentally, three of his misses came against the Patriots, who won in Tampa, 19-14.
Prior to that, Folk spent seven years with the Jets and three with the Cowboys.
Folk most recently kicked in the AAF, where he set a record for longest field goal in that now-defunct league with a 55-yard make. Folk played for Atlanta and went 12 of 16, and 4 of 5 from 50-plus yards, on field goal attempts.
He’ll now replace Nugent, who won the Patriots job in a tryout ahead of the Week 5 game in Washington. Nugent, 37, replaced Stephen Gostkowski, who had a season-ending hip injury.
In four games, Nugent made 5 of 8 field goal attempts and 15-of-16 extra-point attempts.
It was clear the Patriots trust in Nugent did not go far. In the last three weeks, the Patriots have gone for it on fourth and 5 from the Giants’ 32, fourth and 6 from the Jets’ 35, fourth and 4 from the Browns’ 24, and fourth and 7 from the Browns’ 33 rather than have Nugent kick.
The games against the Giants and Browns were in bad weather, but Nugent’s experience kicking outdoors in New York and Cincinnati were considered an asset. It’s notable that Folk, too, spent the bulk of his career kicking outdoors in the Northeast.
The Patriots chose to go with Folk over several other kickers they’ve looked at recently. Josh Gable, Kai Forbath, Blair Walsh, Elliott Fry, and Matthew Wright all came in for tryouts.
New England has hosted Greg Joseph, Austin MacGinnis, Giorgio Tavecchio, and Austin Rehkow for workouts.
Younghoe Koo was part of the same workout group as Nugent and wound up on the Patriots’ practice squad briefly, but was cut and signed by the Falcons Tuesday. Atlanta released kicker Matt Bryant Tuesday. Bryant, 44, was only 9 of 14 on field goal attempts this season (64.3 percent) though all but one of his misses came on attempts of 50 yards or more. He was 14 of 15 on extra points.
One concern with Bryant, though, is he’s accustomed to playing most of his games in a dome stadium.
Folk was the preferred choice over those options.
The Patriots haven’t had to search for a kicker since 2010, when Gostkowski was injured. They’ve been stable at the position with Gostkowski and Adam Vinatieri since 1996.