Who Will The Browns Start at Kicker in 2021?
There was a time when the last thing the Browns needed to look for was a kicker. Phil Dawson was arguably one of the best players in Cleveland since their return in 1999. Ever since he left in 2012, the Browns have had a tough time finding a permanent replacement.
In 2020, former 5th round pick Austin Seibert was Cleveland’s starting kicker. Unfortunately, he was cut after missing an extra point and 41 yard field goal in week one’s blowout loss against the Baltimore Ravens. The Browns signed Cody Parkey after that, who was previously on the team in 2016.
Parkey had a serviceable 2020 season, making 86.4% of field goals and 91.5% of extra points. The thing about him is ever since the double doink playoff game in Chicago a few years ago, he can easily get in his own head and miss kicks. The Browns could choose to bring him back in 2021, but looking at other options isn’t a bad idea for GM Andrew Berry to do. Let’s take a look at some potential free agent kickers the Browns can target in free agency.
Younghoe Koo – 2020 team – Atlanta Falcons
There weren’t many kickers in 2020 that were better than Younghoe Koo. He made 94.9% of his field goals and 91.7% of his extra points. In addition to that, his long was 54 and that is an upgrade over Cody Parkey’s 46 long. There is a good chance the Falcons will bring Koo back, but if he doesn’t, Andrew Berry should definitely go after him. The only tricky thing would be him going from kicking in a dome to kicking on the shores of Lake Eerie in Cleveland. Other than that, he is young and full of talent. Not to mention his onside kicking abilities are fantastic.
Daniel Carlson – 2020 team – Las Vegas Raiders
This is another kicker that will likely return to his 2020 team this off-season, but if he ends up testing free agency, Daniel Carlson would be a great option for the Browns. At 26, he is one of the best young kickers in the NFL. In 2020 his field goal completion percentage was 94.3% and his extra point completion percentage was 95.7. He was also tied with Yunghoe Koo with 144 points, which was 1st in the NFL.
Ryan Succop – 2020 team – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Who better to bring to Cleveland that a guy fresh off a Super Bowl victory? Ryan Succop was really good in 2020, hitting 90.3% of his field goals. In addition to that, he hit 100% of his kicks in the playoffs and has never missed a playoff kick in his career. He is very clutch and would make the kicking situation in Cleveland something not to be worried about in 2021.
Randy Bullock – 2020 team – Cincinnati Bengals
If the Browns move off of Parkey, going after Randy Bullock might be their most realistic option because his chances of hitting the market are much higher than the previous entries above. The problem with Bullock is that he isn’t really an upgrade over Cody Parkey. He hit 80.8% of his field goals in 2020, but his extra point efficiency was much higher at 96%. A change of scenery could be good for him and at this point in his career, he is a consistent veteran.
It will be interesting to see what Andrew Berry decides to do in the kicking department. His decision will ultimately come down to which of these kickers hit the market. There is a solid chance Cody Parkey will be in the brown and orange in 2021, but it isn’t guaranteed by any means. If you’re a Browns fan, just hope that any of these options become free agents, because an upgrade would be preferred. It would be nice to find the Phil Dawson for a Browns team that are legit contenders.