The Cleveland Browns have claimed former New York Jets kicker Chase McLaughlin, creating a position battle when training camp beings.
McLaughlin is already well-traveled in his short NFL career. He was waived by the New York Jets earlier this month after joining the team in December following a stop with the Jaguars. He kicked in one game with the Jets and made both of his extra-point attempts.
McLaughlin originally signed with the Buffalo Bills as an undrafted free agent out of Illinois in 2019. He’s also had stints with the Minnesota Vikings, Los Angeles Chargers, San Francisco 49ers and Indianapolis Colts. McLaughlin has made 78.6 percent of his field goal attempts (22 of 28) and 96.9 percent of his extra points (31 of 32) in the NFL.
McLaughlin will compete with Browns incumbent kicker Cody Parkey, who was solid last season. He hit on 19 of 22 field goal attempts and was 43 of 47 on extra points. The Browns inked him to a 1-year contract in March.
Browns general manager Andrew Berry has been adamant that having internal competition on the roster is essential.
“We want to have competition, and with players earning jobs and showing themselves are ready to contribute, they will be on the roster.
The Browns waived backup kicker Matt McCrane, who spent the 2020 season on the Browns’ practice squad, after signing McLaughlin.
Browns Draft Demetric Felton to Help Return Game
The Browns selected RB/WR Demetric Felton with the 211th pick in the draft and the former UCLA standout could become a valuable member of the special teams unit as a return man.
Felton rushed for 1,101 yards and seven touchdowns and caught 99 passes for 958 yards and eight touchdowns at UCLA. The Browns are still figuring out where he’ll fit in if he makes the final roster.
“Part of the appeal to Demetric was his ability to line up all over, speaking of versatility,” Stefanski said. “We list him as a running back, but we need to get him on campus and see what he can handle and see what he can do. You have plenty of reps you can look at down there at the Senior Bowl where he is lining up all over. That is to be determined in role, but you can pencil him as a running back at this moment.”
Felton said he hit it off with Browns special teams coordinator Mike Priefer and is looking forward to showing off his playmaking ability.
“I hope that I am able to do kick return and punt return. I want to get on anything that I am able to do and show them that I belong there and that I am a playmaker,” Felton said. “That is what I do. I make plays, I score touchdowns and I do all of that. I am just really excited for the opportunity.”
Browns Have Had Busy Offseason
The Browns improved tremendously this offseason thanks to some key additions, mostly on the defensive side of the ball. The Browns added heralded safety John Johnson, cornerback Troy Hill, defensive end Takk McKinley, linebacker Anthony Walker, defensive tackle Malik Jackson and former No. 1 overall pick Jadeveon Clowney.
Also factor in a strong draft that drew wide praise and the Browns are rolling as they head into the 2021 season.
The Browns come in at +1600 to win the Super Bowl, behind only Kansas City (+450), Tampa Bay (+750), Baltimore (+1200), Buffalo (+1200) and the Los Angeles Rams (+1200, per VegasInsider.com.
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