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Patriots will sign K Graham

Posted by Greg A. Bedard  November 9, 2010 12:51 PM

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The Patriots will be signing Shayne Graham to take the place of injured kicker Stephen Gostkowski, a league source confirmed.

Gostkowski injured a quad during Sunday's loss to the Cleveland Browns.

The Bengals let Graham, an All-Pro selection in 2005, go as a free agent after he missed two field goals in a 10-point loss to the New York Jets in a playoff game in January. He was 23 of 30 for the Bengals last season.

Graham has made 196 of 230 field goals in his 10-year career (85.2 percent).

Even if Graham regains his form on field goals, the place where the Patriots will miss Gostkowski more is on kickoffs and the field position game.

Gostkowski had touchbacks on 35.7 percent of kickoffs this season (15 of 42), with an opponent average start position of 24.5.

He has never had less than 12 touchbacks in any season, and that was his rookie campaign in '06.

For an entire season, Graham had double digits on touchbacks once (13 in '06). His percentage in '09 was 11.6.

In one game for the Giants earlier this season, Graham made four extra points and the average start was 26.0 on five kickoffs (one touchback).

In the past two-plus season, Gostkowski's touchback percentage is 23.2. For Graham it is 13.4.

For whatever reason, Graham has been remarkably consistent -- and good -- at average starting position (usually around the 22-yard line). Gostkowski's career average is 23.0.

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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