And just like that, we have our potential answer to the 49ers kicker question mark. Former Cleveland Browns kicker Phil Dawson sent out a tweet this afternoon, indicating he is joining the 49ers. We do not have contract details yet. Last year he earned $3.81 million, which was due to him playing the season under the franchise tag.
I am humbled & thrilled to have the opportunity to continue my career with my new team, the SF 49ers!— Phil Dawson (@phil_dawson_4) March 19, 2013
Dawson spent his entire career prior to this with the Cleveland Browns, joining them in 1999 at the age of 24. He is a career 84.0% field goal kicker, and connected on 93.5% of kicks in 2012. He was second in the league in overall percentage last year, and also was 7-of-7 on kicks of 50+. He earned a spot on two All-Pro teams, as well as a nod in the Pro Bowl.
We have had plenty of discussion about the kicker position and whether the 49ers would consider drafting a replacement for David Akers. That would appear to not be the case as Dawson is a guy they can hopefully slot into the position for at least a couple years.
While it would be nice to groom a kicker for the long-term, the 49ers are close enough to the mountain top that it makes sense to find a solid veteran option, rather than hope a rookie works out. Dawson struggled a bit in 2010 and 2011, but bounced back strong last year.