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2020 Free Agent Primer: Special Teams

Kicker Zane Gonzalez is set to become a restricted free agent

The Cardinals are hoping for a major turnaround in 2020 behind quarterback Kyler Murray, but the roster still needs to be upgraded. General Manager Steve Keim has some cap space this offseason and will aim to plug holes on both sides of the ball. We will break down each position group leading up to free agency, which is scheduled to begin with the legal tampering period on Monday, March 16.

Free agent primer: Special Teams

Other positional primers: LB I WR I DL I QB I CB I TE I S I RB I OL

Cap hit of players under contract for 2020 (via P Andy Lee ($2 million); LS Aaron Brewer ($1.1 million); P Ryan Winslow ($510,000).

Scheduled free agents: K Zane Gonzalez (restricted).

Need: Medium

Analysis: Zane Gonzalez had the best season of his career in 2019, connecting on 31-of-35 field goals and all but one of his 35 extra points. He has made 86.4 percent of his field goals since joining the Cardinals after a shaky start to his career with the Browns.

Gonzalez is a restricted free agent, and if the team gives him an original round tender, it would have the chance to match any contract offer or get a seventh-round pick as compensation for him signing elsewhere. The Cardinals could make his return a formality by giving Gonzalez a second-round tender, although that would be more expensive. If the Cardinals don't tender Gonzalez, he would become an unrestricted free agent.

Andy Lee had another solid season in 2019, averaging 47.8 yards per punt, and is still going strong heading into his age-38 season. Ryan Winslow averaged 48.5 yards per punt in two games as a fill-in for Lee during the season, and was re-signed at the end of the year. Aaron Brewer has been the picture of stability and will return as the long snapper.

Gonzalez seems likely to return, but if he signs elsewhere, the Cardinals will be in the market for a kicker. Some notable free agents at the position include Greg Zuerlein, Dan Bailey and Kai Forbath.

Notable past free agent special teams signings: Phil Dawson (2017); Lee (2017); Brewer (2016); K Chandler Catanzaro (2014); P Drew Butler (2014); P Dave Zastudil (2011); K Jay Feely (2010); K Mike Nugent (2009); LS Mike Leach (2009); P Ben Graham (2008); P Dirk Johnson (2008); K Neil Rackers (2003); LS Nathan Hodel (2001); K Cary Blanchard (2000); K Chris Jacke (1998); P Scott Player (1998); K Joe Nedney (1997); LS Trey Junkin (1996); P Jeff Feagles (1994).

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