The Panthers have made their decision. Carolina is cutting kicker Ryan Santoso after just one game, a source told Joe Person of The Athletic (Twitter link). The team then announced they would be signing kicker Zane Gonzalez off the Lions’ practice squad to replace him.
It was a move that was time sensitive because of the Panthers’ trade for Santoso a few weeks ago. Carolina agreed to acquire Santoso from the Giants, and the deal stipulated that they’d send a seventh-round pick to New York if Santoso was on the active roster for two games. Essentially, they had a one week free trial on the kicker, and decided he wasn’t worth the late-round pick.
Santoso made both of his field goal attempts in the team’s Week 1 win over the Jets, but he did miss one of his two extra point attempts. The Panthers cut Joey Slye at final cuts, and they also have Dominik Eberle on the practice squad. Gonzalez was the Browns’ kicker in all 16 games in 2017, and he spent most of the past two seasons as the Cardinals’ full-time kicker. Because he was signed off another team’s practice squad, Carolina will need to keep him on the active roster for at least three weeks.
The Giants will now get nothing in return for the man they had behind Graham Gano during the preseason. Teams apparently thought highly enough of Santoso, who has spent some time in the CFL, to warrant a trade for him, so it wouldn’t be surprising if he gets another shot with somebody soon.
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