So far this offseason, the San Francisco 49ers have made some significant changes on the defensive side of the football.
Although they have lost some fixtures, such as defensive back Jimmie Ward and defensively linemen Samson Ebukam and Azeez Al-Shaair, they brought in a big weapon in the form of former Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Javon Hargrave.
The team has also decided to not offer free agent kicker Robbie Gould a new contract, and it may have found its replacement.
On Friday, it traded for Zane Gonzalez of the Carolina Panthers.
The #Panthers traded kicker Zane Gonzalez to the #49ers, per his agent @MikeMcCartney7
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 24, 2023
Gonzalez, 27, was a seventh-round draft choice by the Cleveland Browns in 2017, and he made a stellar 90.9 percent of his field goal attempts during the 2021 season while going perfect on attempts from inside of 50 yards.
However, he missed all of last season with a quad injury.
Gould has reportedly been asking for a new contract, and the 49ers haven’t had any real interest in giving the 40-year-old the deal he wants.
They’re due to give Nick Bosa, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, a hefty contract extension, and side receiver Brandon Aiyuk, who went over 1,000 yards for the first time in 2022, could be up next.
Paying both of them what they deserve will mean cutting costs elsewhere, especially with Hargrave, who made the Pro Bowl in 2021 and had another very strong season in 2022.
Gould has spent the last six seasons in San Francisco, and in 2018 the 18-year veteran led the NFL with a 97.1 percent field goal accuracy rate.NEXT: 49ers Player Posts Heartfelt Goodbye To Team