The New England Patriots have a void at kicker for the first time since drafting Stephen Gostkowski in 2006, but that isn't completely unchartered territory for the franchise. Bill Belichick parted ways with Super Bowl hero Adam Vinatieri, the Patriots' kicker for 10 seasons, prior to drafting Gostkowski in the fourth round of the 2006 draft -- and now the question is, could things come full circle?

With Gostkowski cut, there's a chance that he could be replaced by with a very familiar name. Chase Vinatieri, who is Adam Vinatieri's nephew, played at South Dakota State just like his uncle and is among the kicker prospects in this year's draft (though he's not among our top 10, which you can check out here). The Patriots have worked with Chase's kicking instructor Mike McCabe, who also worked with punter Ryan Allen during the pre-draft process. Allen was the Patriots punter from 2013 to 2018. 

"From watching the draft the last few years, maybe one, two or three kickers get drafted, and so realistically, it's more likely I'll be an undrafted free agent," Chase Vinatieri said to ESPN. "I'm definitely OK if that's what it is. I'm just looking for a team to give me an opportunity."

The Patriots may not select Vinatieri in the draft, but they could give him an opportunity to make the team if they choose to sign him as an unrestricted free agent. Vinatieri hit 67.14% of his field goals at South Dakota State (47 of 70), but was just 9 of 18 (50%) last season. He ranks third in SDSU history in field goals made (47) and points scored (374), and he did have career-long kick in college of 57 yards. 

Adam Vinatieri hit 81.9% of his kicks in his 10 seasons with the Patriots, including game-winning field goals in Super Bowl XXXVI and Super Bowl XXXVII. He's second on the Patriots' all-time scoring list with 1,158 points. 

The Patriots signed Vinatieri as an undrafted free agent in 1996. Perhaps they take the same chance on Chase.