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Here's Why Patriots Decided to Sign Veteran K Nick Folk

Belichick will let the performance of Folk and Rohrwasser speak for itself when it comes down to the newly created kicker competition.

It's no secret that there is a quarterback competition in New England. But signing veteran kicker Nick Folk on Monday, as originally reported by NFL Media's Ian Rapoport, has added yet another competition to the mix for the Patriots. And Bill Belichick isn't upset about it.

"I think both players are good kickers," Belichick said in a press conference Wednesday morning. 

Belichick continued by saying that the team talked to Folk throughout the spring and even into training camp. 

"It's great to have him," he said. "He certainly came in and did a good job for us last year. But things just didn't work out until recently with Nick and I'm glad they did. I'm glad he's here and we'll see how it turns out."

As far as who gets the starting job, Belichick said, "We'll see how it goes, that will be up to them to deicide." 

The Patriots were left without a kicker after they released veteran Stephen Gostkowski at the end of last season. This didn't really come as a surprise, as the 36-year-old suffered a groin injury and only played four games as a result last year.

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Enter Justin Rohrwasser, the fifth-round draft pick out of Memphis. Rohrwasser was named the Conference USA Special Teams most valuable player in 2019 after playing in all 13 games, nailing 18/21 field goals with a career long of 53 yards. He also converted on 35 out of 36 extra point attempts. 

However, Rohrwasser hasn't quite performed as the team had hoped during training camp. 

Rohrwasser was described as "erratic" by NESN Patriots beat writer Zack Cox, who watched him kick unopposed field goals on Sunday. Cox reported that he made one from "50-ish" range, but missed a fair amount. 

Beat writer for the Providence Journal, Mark Daniels, tweeted Monday: "I only saw a couple of Justin Rohrwasser kicks early in practice and they were way off the mark. When the full team came on the field, he went 3/4 from around 40-ish yards. Nick Folk went 4/4." 

Meanwhile, Folk has 13 years experience, and played seven games last season with the Patriots where he was 14-for-17 on field goal attempts. He made one from 50 plus yards and was 4-for-7 in the 40-49 yard range. 

Level headed as ever, Belichick said "We'll get a good chance going forward here to evaluate where everybody's at and how they're doing relative to the competition at their position or the competition on the other side of the ball and the players that they're playing against. It will be interesting to see how that turns out and what type of roles players will establish for themselves based off of their performance."

Although the common theme of this offseason has been building rookie talent, Folk may get the starting job after all. If Rohrwasser wants to stay on the Patriots' roster come the regular season, he'll need to outperform the veteran over the next week of camp.