The Cleveland Browns have decided to bring in some competition for their special teams unit through the draft and free agency.
Special teams are one-third of the game of football and sometimes that can be overlooked. Having a special teams unit that is not a liability is important to winning football games. When a team like the Cleveland Browns have had questionable production from this unit in recent years it is best to bring in competition to get the best out of everyone.
Competition for Greg Joseph
Incumbent kicker Greg Joseph perhaps played better than people give him credit for. Joseph made 17 of 20 field goal attempts and 25 of 29 extra points. Granted the misses came at critical times, the amount of misses are often over-exaggerated. Cleveland decided to draft Austin Seibert out of Oklahoma in the fifth round. Seibert made 63 of 79 field goal attempts and 310 of 315 extra points in his four years as a Sooner.
As a whole, kickers have been highly replaceable in the NFL. If the Browns can find an upgrade at the position it is hard to argue against it. The main complaint is that a fifth round pick was used on a kicker. Arguments can be made that they could use the pick on a more valuable position. The thing is a lot of fifth round picks are not even on the team that drafted them the following year. If Cleveland can end their long search for a kicker with this pick it is hard to argue against it.
Cleveland signs “The Scottish Hammer”
Cleveland also decided to bring in some competition for Britton Colquit by signing Jamie Gillan aka “The Scottish Hammer”. Colquitt has been a productive kicker during his three years in Cleveland but he is 34 years old. Colquitt is nearing the time when players start to think about calling it quits. Finding a potential replacement for Colquitt was going to happen sooner or later. Getting out ahead of this instead of being at the mercy of a retiring player is a wise decision.
No one knows whether or not either player will make the team. If the endgame is getting the best out of the current players or finding their replacements it is hard to argue with the thought process. The Browns need to do everything they can to ensure that they can to make the special teams a productive unit. This includes exhausting all options at their disposal to improve a very important aspect of the game.