The Arizona Cardinals quietly released the only other kicker on the roster besides Zane Gonzalez
By no means does this mean the situation won’t change between now and training camp, however for now the Arizona Cardinals do not have a kicking competition. They released kicker Cole Murphy this past week.
Many felt the Cardinals made the right move by bringing in Gonzalez late last season. He performed well in Arizona in 2018.
Gonzalez, drafted by the Cleveland Browns out of Arizona State in 2017, went 7-9 in his five games with the Cardinals last season. In some minds, that should have been good enough to keep him as the kicker going forward.
He had three 50-yard-plus field goals against the Seattle Seahawks in the season finale week 17. He was clutch and without him the Cardinals wouldn’t have had a chance to win the game late. Unfortunately he was one-upped by the Seahawks because of the Cardinals defense or lack thereof.
The Cardinals brought in Murphy in the offseason as competition for Gonzalez. It was the smart move. A kicker needs to be pushed to excel. Having no competition in camp can’t hurt a team come regular season.
However the Cardinals decided instead of bringing in another kicker, they would bring in another punter. With Andy Lee already on the roster, that certainly was an interesting decision. Ryan Winslow, who kicked at Pittsburgh, as did Lee, comes in having had an opportunity in training camp with the Chicago Bears last year.
It likely isn’t the end of a kicking competition for Gonzalez however. So many things can change in the next two months before camp starts.
Speaking of the Bears, they brought in eight kickers this past week to kick 43-yard field goals, the same distance Cody Parkey missed in the playoffs. Only two of the eight made their kicks.
That just shows there likely isn’t a solid replacement for Gonzalez at this time. Let’s just hope if Gonzalez wins the job and happens to struggle early like he did with the Browns in 2018, the Cardinals won’t be so hasty to make a change.