Placekicker could be on Arizona Cardinals offseason agenda
The Arizona Cardinals could look to find some stability at the placekicking position during the upcoming free agency period
Placekickers have not been kind to the Arizona Cardinals during the past few seasons. Chandler Catanzaro was sent packing following the 2016 campaign after shanking seven field-goal attempts and four extra points. His replacement, Phil Dawson, failed on 11 field-goal tries and three PATs over the past two years.
Current Cardinals kicker, Zane Gonzalez, was signed this past November after Dawson was placed on injured reserve with a hip ailment. For now, it appears to be the 23-year old’s job to lose. But could the Cards do better than the former Arizona State Sun Devil?
There are a handful of talented kickers who are scheduled to hit the free agent market this March. Candidates with much more experience, not to mention more attractive resumes, than the young Gonzalez. For once, Arizona’s front office will have plenty of salary-cap space to work with, so money will not be an issue if they do choose to upgrade at the spot.
Stephen Gostkowski has spent his entire 13-year NFL career with the New England Patriots. The 35-year old’s contract with the five-time Super Bowl champions has run out, however. Gostkowski hit on 27 of 32 field-goal attempts and 49 of 50 PATs in 2018.
Robbie Gould is coming off of an excellent showing with the San Francisco 49ers. The long-time Chicago Bear was good on 33 of 34 field-goal tries and 27 of 29 extra points in ’18. Gould would possibly welcome a chance to kick in the desert after having to deal with the “Windy City” weather conditions for most of his professional career.
Jason Myers was one of the few bright spots for the New York Jets last season, but his deal with the club has expired. The 27-year old was successful on 33 of 36 field-goal attempts and 30 of 33 PATs in ’18. Josh Lambo will also be searching for work after booting 19 of 21 field-goal tries and 19 of 20 extra-point attempts for the Jacksonville Jaguars last year.
In five appearances with the Cardinals in ’18, Gonzalez connected on seven of nine field-goal attempts and was five for six on PATs. The 6’0, 202 pounder started the campaign with the Cleveland Browns, but was given his walking papers on September 17th. The “Dawg Pound” elected to move on from Gonzalez, a seventh-round draft pick of their’s in 2017, after he missed on three field-goal attempts and two PATs in two games.
Which Gonzalez would the Cards be getting if they decide to stick with him in 2019? The shaky youngster who the Browns gave up on, or the steady individual who performed well for Big Red late in the season? For now, Gonzalez is listed as Arizona’s kicker, but some tempting, free agent alternatives could prompt the team’s brass to change their minds.