After kicker Zane Gonzalez missed two field goals and two extra points in a Week 2 loss, the Cleveland Browns need to call free agent Dan Bailey
Another game is in the books and it’s another loss for the Cleveland Browns. This one hurt more than many of the other losses though because they had a chance to win. Really, they should have won.
After a 21-21 tie in Week 1 against the Pittsburgh Steelers at home, the Browns headed to New Orleans to play the Saints. Fresh off a loss to Tampa Bay, many expected this to be a bounce-back game for New Orleans — a team that happens to be offensively gifted.
That offense, however, was held in check by this surprisingly strong Browns defense. They had the lead 6-3 at the half and were holding that lead until late in the game. Then the Saints took a lead 18-12 and the ‘same old Browns’ chants began.
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Then a fourth-down prayer of a pass from 47-yards out connected between Tyrod Taylor and rookie receiver Antonio Callaway. They tied it at 18, but couldn’t take the lead as second-year kicker Zane Gonzalez missed the extra point. It was his second missed point and third overall miss as he also was wide on a field goal attempt earlier in the game.
New Orleans went back up by three and Gonzalez had a shot at redemption with a 52-yard try as time expired. Gonzalez missed it again and the Browns fell to 0-1-1. It was a heartbreak and the four total misses mean the young kicker could be on the outs.
If so, there’s a talented player sitting there looking for work. Dan Bailey is the second-most accurate kicker in the NFL with a career percentage of 88.2 and is currently without a job. He was cut by the Dallas Cowboys before the season began and despite having some workouts, he’s still available.
For Cleveland, they need to get him on the phone now. There’s another game on the schedule this coming Thursday that they could win — but they can’t do it if this glaring hole continues to be there.
Of course, with teams like the Minnesota Vikings also having incredibly bad kicking woes on Sunday, it could become a bidding war. As long as Bailey is healthy — he did have injury issues in 2017 with Dallas — Cleveland shouldn’t mind getting into such a war.
They nearly had their first win since 2016 and a kicker like Bailey would have made that a reality. Get him on the phone and pay the man.