Zane Gonzalez had played in Cleveland, Arizona and Carolina before landing in the oddest spot of his NFL career: limbo.
Gonzalez, 28, is a kicker for the San Francisco 49ers. At least, he is, for the moment.
The 49ers acquired Gonzalez from the Panthers in a trade in March and told the six-year veteran that they’d bring in another kicker during the offseason to compete with him for the job.
That kicker? It was Jake Moody, whom the 49ers drafted in April in the third round, making him the NFL’s highest-drafted kicker since 2016.
Gonzalez knows what happens when a team invests a top-100 pick in a kicker: That rookie, barring an injury,
will have a spot on the 53-man roster and any other kicker on the team has a looming expiration date.
On Tuesday, speaking outside the 49ers’ locker room after practice, Gonzalez smiled when asked about his emotions when his employer selected Moody with pick No. 99.
“Yeah, I won’t say too much on that,” Gonzalez said. “But the writing is on the wall. I’ve been around pro sports for seven years now, so I get it.
And now I can go down one of two roads: I can be an A-hole and be grumpy.
Or I can just take the situation for what it is. I can’t control the situation. So focusing on just controlling the things I can control.”