Cleveland Browns: Cody Parkey out, Chase McLauhlin in at kicker

Cleveland Browns free agency. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Browns free agency. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

The 2021 season is already over for Cleveland Browns kicker Cody Parkey as it was reported he was placed on injured reserve with a quad injury.

Parkey, who was the Browns kicker from Week 2 on last year, had a solid year overall. He made 19-of-22 field goals and 43-of-47 extra points in the regular season.

He was shaky at times, but turned it around in the playoffs, knocking home all three of his field goal attempts and all eight of his extra point attempts.

This was not the first time Parkey suited up for and kick for the Browns as he was the kicker back in 2016. He had stops in Miami, Chicago, and Tennessee before coming back to Cleveland last year.

As Nate Ulrich of the Beacon Journal noted on Twitter, The Browns couldn’t designate Parkey because they are placing him on IR today. Had they placed him on IR after 4 p.m. on September 1st, Parke would be eligible to come back.

So with Parkey out, enter Chase McLaughlin. The two were having a pretty good battle in camp. In Sunday’s preseason victory over the Giants, each of them kicked and made an extra point and then McLaughlin nailed a 49-yard field late in the game to end the scoring for both teams.

As of now, McLaughlin is likely going to start the season as the place kicker. The 25-year old has been around the block in his first two seasons in the NFL. He has spent time with the Colts, Chargers, 49ers, Jaguars, and Jets, with the latter two teams last season.

In 15-career games, McLaughlin is 22-of-28 in field goal attempts and 31-of-32 on extra point attempts. He was claimed by the Browns on May 10th.

Should the Browns choose to look elsewhere for a kicker to try out before the end of camp, some notable names are available. Guys like Dan Bailey, Stephen Gostkowski, and Robert Aguayo are all names the Browns could potentially bring in to see if they still have anything left.

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While the search for a stable kicker hasn’t been one like the search for a franchise quarterback over the past 20-plus years, it has been exhausting since Phil Dawson left the team after the 2012 season. Now is the time for McLaughlin to find his footing in the NFL.