Kicked off: Browns release K Zane Gonzalez, sign Greg Joseph
CLEVELAND (AP) — 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.
Gonzalez has been replaced by free agent Greg Joseph, who was one of several kickers to work out for the Browns following Sunday's kicking calamity.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.
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 percent. 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."
The Browns are also exploring trades for wide receiver Josh Gordon, whose checkered career in Cleveland reached a breaking point on Saturday when he reported to the team with a hamstring injury that kept him out of Sunday's game.
General manager John Dorsey initially said in the statement that the team would release Gordon, but the Browns are looking to see if they can get something for the former Pro Bowler.
Gordon has played in just 11 games since 2014 because of numerous drug suspensions.
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