With final cuts around the NFL going down on Tuesday, the Cleveland Browns might want to think about getting rid of their punter, because based on how strong Cade York’s leg is looking so far, the Browns might never need to punt again.
The Browns rookie was the first placekicker selected in this year’s draft — he was selected in the fourth round — and he showed one of the reasons why during his warmup prior to Cleveland’s 21-20 preseason loss to Chicago over the weekend. Before the game, York decided to attempt a 70-yard field goal and he ACTUALLY DRILLED IT.
If you’ve never seen someone kick a 70-yard field goal, here’s what it looks like.
Just so there’s no confusion: A 70-yard field goal is kicked from your OWN 40-yard line.
Here’s one more angle of the kick that gives you a better idea of how well York struck the ball.
To put that kick into perspective, the longest field goal ever made in an NFL game is 66 yards, which was done by Justin Tucker last season. Besides Tucker’s bomb, no other player in NFL history has ever made a field goal of 65 yards or longer in a regular season game. Although York had it slightly easier here — there was no defense out there trying to block the kick and he didn’t have any mental pressure to deal with — the kick was still impressive, because once again, IT WAS FROM 70 YARDS.
The Browns let York show off his leg strength during the game against the Bears with two attempts of 57 yards or longer. His first attempt, which was from 58, went wide left. However, York drilled his second attempt of the game with a 57-yarder in the second quarter.
If York gets a chance to hit a field goal of 60 yards or more this season, he’ll join a rare club. Only 21 kickers in NFL history have ever hit a field goal of 60 or more in a game, which is a list that York would probably like to join at some point.
York has also shown that he has the leg to hit a 70-yarder. There have only been six field goal attempts of 70 or longer in NFL history and they’ve all missed. The most recent one actually came last season when Denver’s Brandon McManus had a 70-yard attempt blocked by the Raiders in Week 17 (McManus actually hit a 70-yarder during a live practice in 2015, so this wasn’t a completely crazy attempt by Denver).
NFL kickers are 1-for-32 in all-time when attempting a field goal of 65 yards or more, with Tucker’s 66-yarder being the only one that made it.
Don’t be surprised if we see one or two kickers try to top Tucker’s record in the next few years. Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker recently said he thinks he could hit a 70-yarder if everything falls into place.
“I mean, the conditions have to be right. It’s got to be warm, probably some wind at your back,” Butker told KansasCity.com earlier this month. “But I feel like I have the distance for it, definitely.”
York also has the distance to hit from 70, and it feels like it will only be a matter of time until someone actually hits one. The only issue with long field goals is that coaches are sometime hesitant to try them, even if they can do it just before that half. This is mostly due to the fact that if a long field goal falls short, then the play turns into a kick return and your field goal team turns into a kickoff coverage team, which isn’t ideal when you consider that a field goal team is basically nine linemen, a holder and a kicker.