It is difficult to land a job as a kicker in the NFL. All 32 teams need one, but very few of them carry more than one (and if they do, it is on the practice squad). When a team needs a kicker, there are a plethora available, but due to the high level of competition, still few get signed.
Former Green Bay Packers kicker Mason Crosby has found this out the hard way. After 16 years with the Packers organization, he was not re-signed and became a free agent. Despite being the franchise’s all-time leading scorer, Crosby did not get much interest from kicker-needy teams.
As the offseason and preseason progressed, the teams in need of a kicker became more and more apparent. One of these was the Cleveland Browns, who had drafted Cade York in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL Draft. York, however, made just 75% of his kicks last season. After struggling again this preseason, the Browns decided to was time of another change.
The Cleveland Browns Trade for Dustin Hopkins, Cut Cade York Amid Mason Crosby Rumors (NFL)
With preseason now over, the Browns traded a 2025 seventh round pick to the Los Angeles Chargers for Dustin Hopkins. In a corresponding move, Cleveland released York after just one season.
Cleveland is going with Dustin Hopkins. pic.twitter.com/yZQ4aVApGC
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) August 28, 2023
In 2022, Hopkins made 88.9% of his field goals and 90% of his extra point attempts. Prior to the trade, there had been suggestions that the Browns would look into signing Crosby, who made 86.2% of his field goals and 94.9% of his extra points.
Crosby will continue to search for a new team, but now has competition on the free agent market from the younger York.
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