With kicking game struggling, Lions sign veteran Zane Gonzalez

Detroit News

Allen Park — Through the first two weeks of training camp, the Detroit Lions’ kicking competition has been cause for concern. On Tuesday, the team made a swap at the position, signing veteran Zane Gonzalez and waiving Matthew Wright.

Gonzalez will now enter a competition with Randy Bullock, who began training camp as the presumptive favorite, but has also has had his share of struggles in his first year with the franchise.

A seventh-round draft pick in 2017, Gonzalez has spent the better part of the past three seasons with the Arizona Cardinals. In 33 games for the team, he converted 81.8% of his field goal attempts, including 8-13 from 50 yards and beyond, with a long of 56.

Bullock, in his 10th season, signed a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Lions this offseason, which included $750,000 in guarantees.

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With a career conversion rate of 83.2% on his field goals, distance has been a weakness. He’s under 50% for his career on attempts 50 yards and longer.

Those struggles have shown up during his short stint with the Lions. During Tuesday’s practice, he sent a 49-yard effort wide right. He also missed from 50 and 54 yards during Saturday’s practice at Ford Field.

Gonzalez and Bullock will kick it out for the right to replace Matt Prater, who took Gonzalez’s job as Arizona’s kicker this offseason, signing a two-year, $6.5 million contract as a free agent.

jdrogers@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers

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