The Browns have decided on their kicker evidently, so people like Les Levine and others can stop overreacting to the situation. After a tryout today (Tuesday), the Browns signed Billy Cundiff. He is not Phil Dawson and no one else was going to be. Cundiff is not a great kicker, but no one they could have used was likely going to be. If the Browns are going to be good, bad, or somewhere in between this year, it will not be due to Cundiff.
The fact that the Browns waited as long as they did with the kicking decision combined with the suspension of Josh Gordon actually have turned out to work to the Browns’ advantage in one respect. They used both to give themselves two extra roster spots to play with and maneuver to bolster their roster.
In many ways, they still have 55 players on the roster because the move that was made to add Cundiff to the roster was moving Jason Pinkston to the revocable IR list. They can get him back for practice during week 7 and have him ready to play for week 9. Pinkston suffered the high ankle sprain which is notorious for sticking around a while, so this gives him plenty of time to get healthy and ready to contribute for the latter half of the year. The Browns expect Shawn Lauvao to be able to give them guard relief in the next couple weeks, which will be important.
It may seem small and it is definitely ‘inside baseball’, but the fact the Browns are using these types of opportunities to keep and retain players they like is smart and just looking for any way they can improve the team. Whether they want to aim for a trade with someone to acquire an asset and likely a draft pick somewhere or they simply like the talent they have, it just gives them options. They will have to get rid of one of these players by week three when Gordon comes off of the suspended list, so if they are trying to get a trade somewhere or are simply keeping guys in case of injury, that is the deadline to make a move.
As much as it would made folks like Levine and others feel good about having a kicker in the fold before today, it was not remotely important. Were they going to forget to get one and run out there without one? It is a kicker. See the ball, kick the ball. Their ability to maneuver the roster was a far more valuable ability and the fact they had to pick from a group of average kickers made it so they could do it.