He's back and "excited it worked out." Kicker Stephen Gostkowski returned last Sunday from a NFL-USO tour to South Korea, in which he visited U.S. troops and their families at military bases, and he called it an unforgettable and humbling experience.

I have a longer piece on Gostkowski's trip coming soon. As part of our interview on the NFL-USO tour, I asked him about returning to the Patriots after an extended time as an unrestricted free agent, with a two-year deal finalized over the past couple of days.

"I'm extremely grateful and excited for the opportunity to keep playing, especially for this team. Having had to wait 13 years to be a free agent kind of put a different spin on things for me, because I'm in a whole different place in my life and career than a lot of people when they first have a shot at free agency. The things I had to think about and go through, and decisions I had to make of whether I would stay or leave, are completely different from what I would have had 10 years ago when I could have had a chance at free agency," said the 35-year-old Gostkowski, who with his wife, Hallie, has three children.