We all know Cade York needs to be replaced. He wasn't good last season, he wasn't good in training camp and he wasn't good in the preseason.
Kevin Stefanski seems to understand that as well, and he made some comments that don't paint a pretty picture about York's future with the Browns in a press conference on Sunday. These comments paint a reasonably clear picture of what the York replacement plans may look like.
This is music to Browns fans' ears.
Cade York Browns
York was a wasted draft pick in the fourth round in 2022, and that was clear as early as Week 2 when he shanked an extra point. He went on to make just 75.0% of his field goals as a rookie (No. 30 among 33 qualifying kickers). This preseason was even worse, as he went just 4-for-8 on field goals and missed at least one in every single game.
A coach can't straight up say he's going to cut a player in a press conference, but it's very clear that is Stefanski's plan. And honestly, anything short of that would be an irresponsible move by the franchise.
The way this has played out telegraphs what kind of move they'll make to replace York, too.
Not bringing in any competition during training camp suggests that Cleveland may not love the current kickers on the free agent market. What we'll likely see instead is that there are a couple of kickers who get released by Tuesday's 53-man roster deadline that the Browns elect to work out instead.
With so many tough roster cuts to make, knowing York is gone is actually kind of nice. This way, Cleveland can simply cut York and go down to zero kickers for Tuesday's deadline, knowing they'll have plenty of options to choose from over the next week. That way, they can keep someone who they want to put on IR without risking losing them to waivers while also making them eligible to return without missing the full season.
Moving into the season with a new kicker should give Browns fans a lot more confidence in the special teams unit, as York is a clear weak point who is very much capable of singlehandedly losing a game or two. And that's not something Cleveland can afford if they want to make a playoff push in the ultra-competitive AFC North.
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