Wayward NFL kickers get the boot

It was a bad day for NFL place kickers Monday as both the Cleveland Browns and Minnesota Vikings made changes.

Browns' Gonzalez missed 4 attempts on Sunday; Vikings' Carlson missed 3

Zane Gonzalez sits dejected after his missed field goal doomed the Cleveland Browns to another loss on Sunday. ( Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

Zane Gonzalez got kicked to the curb.

The Browns released the wayward kicker on Monday after his four misses on Sunday in New Orleans cost Cleveland its first win since 2016 with a 21-18 loss to the Saints.

Also Monday, the Minnesota Vikings waived rookie kicker Daniel Carlson after the fifth-round draft pick pulled all three of his field goal attempts wide right at Green Bay

Gonzalez has been replaced by free agent Greg Joseph, who was one of several kickers to work out for the Browns following Sunday's kicking calamity.

Joseph was with the Miami Dolphins during training camp and preseason, but he was beaten out for the starting job by Jason Sanders.

The 24-year-old Joseph kicked for four seasons at Florida Atlantic. He'll have minimal time to get up to speed with the Browns, who host the New York Jets on Thursday night. Joseph made 3 of 3 field-goal attempts in four exhibitions.

Missed 4 kicks on Sunday

Gonzalez's meltdown in the Superdome was the latest malfunction for the Browns, who have played well enough to win their first two games but remain winless since Dec. 24, 2016.

He misfired on two extra points and two field-goal attempts, including a 52-yarder in the final seconds — with owner Jimmy Haslam standing under the crossbar — that would have forced overtime on Sunday. After his last kick sailed off course, Gonzalez sat alone hanging his head while sitting on the Browns' bench before being consoled by Saints kicker Wil Lutz.

"It's on me 100 per cent. Can't blame it on nobody else," Gonzalez, a seventh-round pick in 2017, said afterward. "Sucks that we were so close to that win and it's been so long and just let everybody down."

Two of Carlson's misses came in overtime on Sunday, forcing the Vikings to settle for a 29-29 tie with the rival Packers. Carlson was cut on Monday, as the Vikings signed wide receiver Aldrick Robinson.

They didn't immediately announce a replacement for Carlson. Dan Bailey, the second-most accurate field goal kicker in NFL history, is a free agent after being released by the Dallas Cowboys two weeks ago.

Carlson was awarded the job when the Vikings let Kai Forbath go on Aug. 20, and Carlson pulled two field goal tries wide left in a preseason game four days later.


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