It has not been an easy task to find a reliable kicker in Cleveland.
Last season, the Cleveland Browns gave Cody Parkey another chance and he did fairly well.
He performed well enough that the organization gave him a one-year deal this offseason.
However, that didn’t stop the Browns from bringing in competition for Parkey.
The Browns recently claimed kicker Chase McLaughlin off waivers from the New York Jets.
#Browns claim kicker Chase McLaughlin off waivers from the Jets.
— Browns Clutch (@brownsclutch) May 10, 2021
The 25-year-old will likely give Parkey a run for his money during training camp.
McLaughlin vs Parkey
The signing of McLaughlin shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone.
Cleveland recently cut kicker Matt McCrane who spent the entire 2020 season on the Browns practice squad.
He was mainly there as motivation for Parkey, but Cleveland felt that they should add another experienced kicker to the mix.
McLaughlin didn’t receive much of a chance in 2020 and has bounced around quite a bit since going undrafted in 2019.
In fact, McLaughlin has played for five different teams during his fairly young NFL career.
He has performed about league average, so it’s uncertain why teams continue to cut the young kicker.
From 47 yards!
CHASE. MCLAUGHLIN. #GoNiners pic.twitter.com/f3YuNyjqa2
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) November 12, 2019
During his two years in the league, McLaughlin has made 22-of-28 attempted field goals and 31-of-32 extra point attempts.
He has only played in 15 regular season games, but has done enough to warrant a fair shot at the starting job in Cleveland.
Last season, Parkey went 19-for-22 in field goal attempts and 43-of-47 on extra point attempts.
Those are not bad numbers and it’s worth noting that he also knocked down all 11 of his kicking attempts during the postseason last year.
Everyone is surely aware of Parkey’s past postseason struggles, but maybe he’s finally turned a corner.
Cody Parkey hits the crossbar for the 6th time this season ending the Bears postseason run at a SB.#BearDown#DaBears#CHIvsPHI#PHIvsCHIhttps://t.co/wHUftgn6gW
— radiohaven.com 🎧🎤♿️ #Crypto $radiohaven (@realradiohaven) January 7, 2019
Nonetheless, Cleveland was smart to bring in McLaughlin as competition for Parkey.
Who knows, Parkey might’ve had a fluke season and it’s always smart to have a backup plan.
McLaughlin is well deserving of a fair chance on an NFL roster, but will have to win the job in training camp.
Both players should be given a fair opportunity during training camp and the player with the better leg should move forward as the Browns kicker.
Cody can’t kick over 50+ yards accurately. McLaughlin can kick up to 60 yards well. His only miss 50+ yards (out of 5) was a 62 yarder, which shows amazing confidence from Jacksonville, by even sending him out there to try (McLaughlin was about 1 yard short). Cleveland needed a couple of 50+ yarders last year and didn’t bring Cody out. Example: Cleveland could have lost to the Steelers last season (Week 17) 3:40 left in 4th quarter, 4th and 7 on Steelers 35 with score 22 to 24 and no Cody! WTF?
Under 40 yards:
Cody – XP 91% last year and 94% for career. 30-39 yards 66% last year and 85% for career.
Chase – XP 96% for career. 30-39 yards 100% for career. McLaughlin also never missed an XP in college.
Overall Hardness (percentage of +40 yard kicks in a season):
Entire League 2020 – Average 35%. Lowest 11%. Highest 59%.
Cody – 40% of his career kicks have been 40+ yards. Lucky him.
McLaughlin – 59% of his career kicks have been 40+ yards. Ties with HARDEST in the league.
The young gun, on paper, is a much more accurate kicker with a much stronger leg.