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Here’s the kicker, maybe: 49ers acquire Zane Gonzalez from Panthers

San Francisco Chronicle 3/25/2023 Eric Branch
© Danny Karnik, Associated Press

The San Francisco 49ers appeared to erase any remaining doubt about Robbie Gould’s future with the team Friday by making a trade for a kicker.

The 49ers acquired Zane Gonzalez, 27, from the Panthers in a conditional swap of late-round 2025 draft picks. Gonzalez, who missed last season with a groin injury, must pass a physical for the trade to be officially executed.

Gould, 40, who ranks eighth in NFL history in field-goal percentage, said this month that he intends to sign with another team in 2023 after spending the past six seasons with the 49ers. However, with Gould still unsigned more than a week into free agency, there was speculation that he could return to the 49ers.

Given the modest price the 49ers paid to acquire Gonzalez, along with his career bio, it’s not a certainty that he’ll replace Gould. The 2017 seventh-round pick has made 91 of 113 field-goal attempts in a career that has included stops with the Browns and Cardinals.

His 80.5 field-goal percentage ranks 37th among 43 kickers with at least 50 attempts since 2017.

However, Gonzalez gives the 49ers a kicker with extensive NFL experience who could compete with a rookie. The 49ers could further address the position with one of their 11 picks in next month’s draft.

Gonzalez would count $2.09 million against the salary cap under his current contract if he makes the 53-man roster. Gould earned an average of $4.75 million over the past four seasons. The 49ers had $5.02 million in cap space Friday, per, which is sixth lowest in the NFL.

Eric Branch covers the 49ers for The San Francisco Chronicle:; Twitter: @Eric_Branch

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