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Browns sign K Greg Joseph, waive Zane Gonzalez

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Too many misses forced the Browns to move on from Gonzalez.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns announced what seemed inevitable on Monday: The release of kicker Zane Gonzalez and the signing of his replacement, undrafted rookie Greg Joseph.

Gonzalez missed four kicks—two field goals and two extra points—in the Browns’ Week 2 loss to the New Orleans Saints. He also missed what would have been a game-winning field goal in overtime against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 1.

In his two years with the Browns, Gonzalez managed to convert only 68 percent of his field goals, and as noted by Bleacher Report’s Ryan McCrystal, “anything below 75% is pretty much unheard of these days, and means you’re probably out of the league very soon.”

The rookie Joseph may or may not prove to be much of an upgrade, though. The Johannesburg, South Africa native doesn’t have a much better field-goal make percentage in his four years as the kicker for Florida Atlantic, at 69 percent. His extra-point make percentage of 97.1 percent, though, is strikingly better than Gonzalez’s 90.3 percent.

It’s possible that Gonzalez’s struggles this year are injury-related; ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted that Gonzalez “has been kicking with a groin injury,” though the kicker did not show up on the Browns’ injury report this week nor was injury mentioned in the Browns’ announcement of his waiving.

While the Browns also had some interest in veteran kickers Blair Walsh and Cairo Santos, they decided to defer to the younger, yet less-experienced Joseph. Meanwhile, it’s expected the Minnesota Vikings will sign free agent Dan Bailey after releasing rookie kicker Daniel Carlson on Monday.