Panthers trade K Zane Gonzalez to 49ers for pick swap

So, uh, maybe the Carolina Panthers didn’t release Zane Gonzalez after all.

As first tweeted out by his agent Mike McCartney on Friday evening, the 27-year-old kicker has been traded to the San Francisco 49ers. The teams will swap conditional late-round draft picks in 2025 as compensation for the move.

Gonzalez’s departure was initially reported as a clean cut last night, following the new two-year deal for the Panthers’ new place kicker in Eddy Piñeiro. Nonetheless, this’ll mark the end of a two-year run in Carolina for the former seventh-round pick.

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An addition prior to Week 2 of the 2021 regular season, Gonzalez went on to have a standout campaign in the black and blue. He converted on 20 of his 22 field goal attempts and 22 of his 23 extra point tries.

He would, however, succumb to a season-ending quad injury during warmups of the team’s Week 15 visit to Buffalo. The bug then bit again during the 2022 preseason, when he sustained a groin injury while practicing kicks on the sideline—ultimately leading to Piñeiro’s seizing of the job.

Gonzalez will now head out to the west coast to join former teammates Christian McCaffrey, Sam Darnold and Myles Hartsfield as well as former coach Steve Wilks.

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Story originally appeared on Panthers Wire