The Detroit Lions signed free agent kicker Zane Gonzalez Tuesday afternoon, immediately addressing a glaring need at the position.

It’s no secret that kickers Matthew Wright and Randy Bullock struggled severely so far during training camp. Also, it didn’t help that both players had bad showings at practice on Tuesday as well. So the need for a new kicker became more evident. 

And apparently, head coach Dan Campbell knew it. As a result of signing Gonzalez, the Lions waived Matthew Wright. Now it appears that Gonzalez and Bullock will duke it out for the lead-Kicker position throughout camp. 

Zane Gonzalez signs with the Detroit Lions
Sep 27, 2020; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals kicker Zane Gonzalez (5) against the Detroit Lions at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Billy Hardiman-USA TODAY Sports

The addition of Zane Gonzalez is also interesting in itself. The Lions didn’t re-sign the beloved Matt Prater this offseason. And it was a move that some diehard fans didn’t approve. Prater then took his talents to the Arizona Cardinals, which is where Gonzalez played last season. 

Gonzalez didn’t have a great 2020 at all. Last season, he missed time due to a back injury. The injury was so severe that the Cardinals placed him on injured reserve last December. However, if healthy, he could be a good addition. In 2019, he made 31 out of 35 field goals (88.6%) over a 12-game span. Additionally, he was 97% (34 0f 35) on extra points made. 

That same season, he was perfect on field goals from 50+ yards (two) and 5 of 8 on tries between 40-49 yards. 

The Detroit Lions will need Zane Gonzalez to recapture his 2019 success. It was the best stretch of his career. And for this Lions rebuild to kick off in the right gear, they’ll need a reliable kicker. It’s imperative to their offense. 

Follow Kory Woods on Twitter at KoryEWoods.

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By Published On: August 10th, 2021Categories: NFL

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