The Cleveland Browns signed another draft pick on Wednesday, inking seventh-round placekicker Zane Gonzalez to a contract.
There is a new kicker in town as the Cleveland Browns signed placekicker Zane Gonzalez on Wednesday.
Gonzalez, who was selected in the seventh round of the 2017 NFL Draft, is the fourth of the team’s 10 draft picks to sign their rookie contract.
Gonzalez was the recipient of the Lou Groza Award in 2016, which is given to the nation’s top kicker. He was a first team All-American his senior year at Arizona State, a season that saw him convert seven field goals from more than 50 yards and finish 23-of-25 on field goals.
All told, he set the FBS career mark by converting 96 field goals during his collegiate career, as well as the record for most points scored by a kicker with 494.
He will now take on incumbent Cody Parkey in training camp for the kicking duties. It may not be the most exciting of roster battles, but it is an important one, head coach Hue Jackson told the team’s website:
"“We feel good about our kicker here now, but I don’t think you can have too much competition anywhere on our football team. The thing that I love that we are doing is that we are adding players that are on our board at the right time for us. That is most important. He was there. There was an opportunity for us to take another guy to compete, and we did that.”"
Parkey got off to a rough start after joining the Browns in Week 3 of last season as he missed three field goals in what turned into a 30-24 overtime loss to the Miami Dolphins. Of course, if quarterback Cody Kessler could have taken the Browns into the end zone more than once then fans would not have blamed Parkey for the loss, but we’re not allowed to point that out for fear of angering the Kessler supporters.
While the Browns may be happy with either kicker winning the roster spot, Gonzalez would probably have to really come up short to not make the final roster.