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Report: Cardinals to release K Zane Gonzalez ahead of his free agency

Arizona Cardinals kicker Zane Gonzalez (5) kicks a field goal as punter Andy Lee (4) holds during the first half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Arizona Cardinals kicker Zane Gonzalez will reportedly be released Friday, making him a free agent before his current contract officially ends when the new league year begins March 17.

NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported that Arizona, in a “procedural move,” will release the kicker and Arizona State Sun Devil product. There’s still a chance the Cardinals re-sign Gonzalez, Garafolo added.

Gonzalez ended the 2020 season on the injured reserve with a back issue.

Last offseason, the Cardinals tendered Gonzalez, a restricted free agent, at the level of a second-round pick, which set his salary at $3.3 million. He missed the final four games of the year due to his back injury and before that went 16-of-22 on field goals.

He was shaky in the 40- to 49-yard range, making 8 of 13 attempts and costing Arizona multiple opportunities to walk away with wins in the fourth quarter and overtime.

Sixteen-year veteran Mike Nugent replaced Gonzalez and knocked in 7 of 8 field goals during the final quarter of the season.

Nugent will also be a free agent this offseason.

In 33 games over three seasons with the Cardinals, Gonzalez has hit 54 of 66 field goals (81.8%) and gone 77-for-80 on extra points.


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