Zane Gonzalez‘s season has come to an end. The Panthers announced today that they placed the veteran kicker on injured reserve. The IR stint will force Gonzalez to miss at least three games, and with only three games remaining on the schedule, his season has effectively come to an end.
The 26-year-old was signed off the Lions practice squad in September, replacing the likes of Joey Slye and Ryan Santoso. Gonzalez missed a field goal in Week 4, but he’s since made 17-straight, making him 20-for-22 for the season. The veteran also connected on 22 of his 23 extra point tries. Gonzalez will be a free agent this offseason.
Gonzalez suffered a quad injury prior to Sunday’s win over the Bills. Wideout Brandon Zylstra was forced to handle kickoffs, while the team generally went for fourth downs and two-point conversations without a healthy kicker.
The Panthers will temporarily turn to Lirim Hajrullahu, who was signed off the Washington Football Team practice squad today. The 31-year-old made his NFL debut earlier this season. connecting on five extra point tries for the Cowboys. Carolina also added kicker Alex Kessman to the practice squad.
December 6th, 2021 at 10:35am CST by Zachary Links
Sounds like the Jets are moving on from Alex Kessman. After his two missed two extra points on Sunday, the Jets are signing kicker Eddy Pineiro, according to agent Drew Rosenhaus (Twitter link via Adam Schefter of ESPN.com).
The Jets had an early lead over the Eagles when Kessman sent his second extra point wide left. Things only got worse from there as the Birds went on to win 33-18.
“Just gotta make them,” Kessman said (via the New York Post). “It’s what I do for a living, and I gotta make those kicks. There’s no excuses…I gotta control what I can control. If they send me out there to kick, I go out there and kick. Doesn’t matter where from, what time. I go out there and do my job, and I didn’t do my job today. Plain and simple. … I’m not gonna let two kicks define me and the kicker I am.”
Gang Green will in fact hold him accountable for his missed XPs. Now, Pineiro will become the Jets’ ninth kicker since 2017.
Pineiro lost the Colts’ kicking competition this year and hasn’t seen live action since 2019. That year, spent with the Bears, he went 23-of-28 on field goals (82.1%) and 27-of-29 on XPs.
Having included Brett Maher in their recent cuts, the Saints continue to search for Wil Lutz replacement options. They are working out a former Pro Bowler.
Aldrick Rosas auditioned for the Saints on Thursday, according to ESPN.com’s Field Yates (via Twitter). A 2018 Pro Bowler with the Giants, Rosas has been unattached since the Jaguars cut him late last month. The Saints also worked out kickersAlex KessmanandDominik Eberle.
Rosas, 26, is the only one of these three with NFL experience. Kessman kicked at Pitt, while Eberle played at Utah State.
The Giants placed a second-round RFA tender on Rosas last year but cut him soon after the young specialist was arrested following a hit-and-run incident. After serving a four-game suspension, Rosas landed in Jacksonville and kicked in six Jags games. The Southern Oregon product’s 2018 season, when he made 97% of his field goal tries (32-for-33), has thus far been an aberration. Rosas did not clear the 73% barrier in his other three seasons.
The Saints signed Maher last week but waived him days later; Maher sustained an injury in the Saints’ first preseason game. Lutz is expected to miss extensive time due to a groin injury, forcing New Orleans to search for a kicker for the first time in five years.
August 16th, 2021 at 12:29pm CST by Andrew Ortenberg
The Chargers trimmed down the roster a bit on Monday, making a couple of special teams moves. Los Angeles has cut punter Lachlan Edwards, kicker Alex Kessman, and receiver Michael Bandy, the team announced.
Edwards was drafted by the Jets in the seventh round in 2016, and spent the next four seasons as New York’s punter. He wasn’t re-signed after the 2019 season, and after a short stint with Buffalo landed on the Chargers’ practice squad late last year. His release means that Los Angeles will be rolling with Ty Long as their punter for the third straight season.
Meanwhile, the release of Kessman doesn’t ensure Michael Badgley has won the kicking job, because he still has Tristan Vizcaino to compete with. Kessman was a rookie UDFA from Pitt.
Bandy played college ball at the University of San Diego, but then began a career in rugby after finding no pro opportunities. Time in The Spring League earned him the opportunity with the Chargers.
This year’s crop of draftable prospects was said to be on the thin side, so the 2021 class of UDFAs is expected to have even fewer players make the cut than usual. But you never know, and teams still have 90 roster spots they can fill throughout the spring and summer. The Chargers were among the first to announce their UDFA signings:
As with most UDFA classes, this one included several notable guarantees. Goldwire received $50K in guaranteed money, while Ogbongbemiga got a $30K guarantee (Twitterlinks via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle). Goldwire earned All-ACC Second Team honors after recording 35 tackles, five TFLs, and two sacks from his nose tackle position, while Ogbongbemiga piled up 180 tackles over the past two seasons and possesses excellent speed.
Stove struggled with injuries in his collegiate career but is quick and has good hands. He caught 44 passes for 359 yards and three scores in his final season at Auburn.