Browns kicker Zane Gonzalez missed four kicks (two field goals and two extra points) in Sunday’s 21-18 loss to the New Orleans Saints.
Well, Cleveland went ahead and are making a change at the position.
The team is signing former Dolphins kicker Greg Joseph according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. The team will likely waive Gonzalez or make an injury settlement after ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported an interesting plot twist on Monday afternoon.
Gonzalez was and is dealing with a groin injury that is requiring an MRI to be done on Monday according to Schefter.
He wasn’t on any injury report so it’s unclear if the team knew about the injury and if they did and didn’t place him on the injury report, the league could punish Cleveland for not doing as such.
Joseph was undrafted out of Florida Atlantic this year and spent the offseason with the Miami Dolphins, battling with fellow rookie Jason Sanders who eventually won the job in training camp.
During his four seasons at Florida Atlantic, Joseph converted 69.5% (57 of 82) of his field goal attempts and 97.1% (165 of 170) of his extra point attempts.
In the preseason, Joseph was 3 of 3 on field goal attempts with his longest being from 54 yards. He was also 2 of 2 on extra point attempts. According to reports, he has a strong leg for a kicker and was great on kickoffs during the preseason.
Cleveland brought him in for a workout on September 5th with a group of 16 players so my sense is that they must have liked what they seen then and kept him in mind when they planned today’s workout that included former Vikings kicker Blair Walsh and former Chiefs kicker Cairo Santos.
I was hoping that the team would bring in an experienced NFL kicker that has dealt with pressured kicks and not putting their hopes on another young player like they have in recent years since departing from longtime kicker Phil Dawson after the 2012 season.
Dolphins special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi said that Joseph has what it takes to be an NFL kicker. Joseph will get that opportunity quickly as he’ll be out on the field Thursday night against the New York Jets.