The Cleveland Browns could be in the market for a new kicker in Week 17 with Dustin Hopkins suffering an injury in the win over the Houston Texans. With Hopkins out, the Browns had to go for it on fourth downs and after the touchdown.
Thankfully this wasn’t a close game so the absence of Hopkins didn’t hurt them too bad against the Texans. However, with the New York Jets on the schedule this Thursday, they might not have enough time for him to get healthy. With that being the case, here are three players that they can sign — hopefully, for the short term.
3.Browns can sign Rodrigo Blankenship
After an elite career at the University of Georgia, Rodrigo Blankenship has struggled in the pros. He spent just over two seasons with the Colts and was great as a rookie, hitting 86.5 percent of his kicks. He was 13-of-17 after that and Indy let him go during the 2022 season.
Blankenship spent time with the Arizona Cardinals and was 2-of-2 including a 50-yarder. He was in Tampa Bay this offseason but lost out to Chase McLaughlin, a former Browns kicker.
2. Browns can sign Tristan Vizcaino
At 27 years of age, Tristan Vizcaino has bounced around the league. He’s kicked for four different teams (but has spent time on eight rosters) and has hit 11-of-12 field goals with a career-long of 47 yards. He’s been inconsistent on extra points, going just 15-of-20 but overall has had some success.
He was on the Dallas Cowboys practice squad during the playoffs, signed after Brett Maher struggled to hit extra points in the postseason. He was cut ahead of camp when they realized Brandon Aubrey was an automatic weapon.
1. Browns can sign Brett Maher
Vizcaino never replaced Brett Maher but Maher also never returned to Dallas after an elite regular season. During his second stint with the Cowboys, Maher hit on 29-of-32 field goals before his postseason collapse. He started this season with the Rams and was 17-of-23 before being released after eight games.
Maher, who has kicked in four different seasons, is 111-of-139 in his career which is just 79.9 percent. Overall, that percentage isn't ideal but for a replacement, it could be worse — we saw that on Sunday when no one could kick.