Former Arizona Cardinals kicker Zane Gonzalez signed a one-year deal with the Detroit Lions on Tuesday.
In 2020, three of the eight losses suffered by the Arizona Cardinals were by a margin of three points or less. In all three of these losses, former Cardinals kicker Zane Gonzalez missed at least one extra-point try or one field-goal attempt.
If Gonzalez is able to make all of his kicks in just one of these three particular matchups, Arizona is probably in the playoffs last season.
But that didn’t happen and an underwhelming performance from Gonzalez in 2020 (72.7 field goal percentage) resulted in the Cardinals not having much interest in bringing the kicker back for another year when he hit free agency back in March.
Former Arizona Cardinals kicker lands a gig with the Detroit Lions
Instead of re-signing Gonzalez this year, Arizona went out and made an attempt to actually find someone to improve their kicking performance. The Cardinals settled on Matt Prater, someone who spent the last seven seasons with the Detroit Lions.
Interestingly enough, the Lions recently brought in Gonzalez for a workout, and on Tuesday they announced the signing of the former Arizona kicker. So essentially, the Cardinals and Lions just swapped kickers this offseason.
Gonzalez joined Arizona midway through the 2018 campaign. The Cardinals brought him back for the 2019 season and it turned out to be a great decision as he converted 88.6 percent of his field-goal attempts. Unfortunately, the success Gonzalez had in 2019 didn’t continue on into the 2020 season.
So now, he will see if he can get his career back on track by winning the kicking job in Detroit. He will be competing for the role with Randy Bullock, a veteran kicker who spent the last four years with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Gonzalez will likely have the rest of the month, which includes three preseason games, to win the Lions kicking job. If he earns the role, then he will end up facing his old teammates during the upcoming season when Arizona travels to Detroit for a Week 15 matchup.