Panthers sign ex-Browns kicker Zane Gonzalez before rematch with Saints

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The Carolina Panthers are swapping kickers ahead of their Week 2 game with the New Orleans Saints, per Darin Gantt of Panthers.com. Gantt reports that Carolina waived kicker Ryan Santoso to open a roster spot for veteran free agent Zane Gonzalez after Santoso whiffed on an extra-point try on Sunday.

Gonzalez, as many Saints fans know well, was responsible for two missed kicks in a close Cleveland Browns loss in the Superdome back in 2018. He returns to the Panthers (where he spent most of the summer) having signing with the Detroit Lions practice squad after final roster cuts. New Orleans specialists Wil Lutz and Thomas Morstead were spotted consoling Gonzalez after the game.

Now 26, Gonzalez has kicked 91 field goal tries (connecting on 71 of them, a rate of 78%) in 51 games with the Browns and Arizona Cardinals. He’s also gone 105-of-111 on point-after attempts. With the lowly New York Jets holding Carolina to just 19 points of offense in Week 1, he’ll need to be on top of his game when the high-powered Saints offense and stingy New Orleans defense visit in Week 2.