In a fairly random bit of news earlier this week, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has indicated the league will consider eliminating extra points. The plan would be to give teams the automatic seventh point, but still provide the option of instead going for two if they so choose.
The NFL extra point is the closest thing the league has to an automatic conversion. Extra points have a 99.1 percent conversion rate since 2004, so removing them from the equation would have little impact. It would potentially cut down the game broadcast by a few minutes, but that's about it.
Of course, one group of people is not so keen on this idea:
Eliminate PATs? Success rate too high? QBs better be careful. The forward pass is becoming increasingly efficient. # penalize progress— Phil Dawson (@phil_dawson_4) January 21, 2014
My PAT recommendation : place a clown's mouth & a swirling windmill in front of goal posts. :)— Phil Dawson (@phil_dawson_4) January 21, 2014
Kickers will not lose their jobs because of this, but I do wonder how it might impact incentives for them. If a kicker has an incentive of reaching X amount of points, removing all those single points would impact that. It's more of an issue for existing contracts, as opposed to future contracts. But I would definitely love to see Phil Dawson kicking field goals through a clown's mouth!
But on the kicker note, the position is going to be one to track just a little bit in the coming weeks and months. Dawson signed a one-year deal, so he can cash in via free agency on what was an absolutely spectacular season. Dawson finished 14th in field goal percentage during the regular season, connecting on 32 of 36 kicks.
It is worth noting that he started the season 3 of 6, and finished 29 of 30, with his one miss coming on a kick with the laces in instead of out. He also connected on all seven of his playoff field goals. The 49ers also finished the regular season third in DVOA on kickoffs, and Dawson earned two NFC Special Teams Player of the Week awards.
Dawson signed a one-year deal worth $2.235 million. He got $1.25 million in base salary, $1 million in a signing bonus and $100,000 in a workout bonus. This came a year after he earned $3.81 million under the kicker franchise tag. Dawson was the 12 highest paid kicker this past season, based on APY. Sebastian Janikowski was on at $3,775,000. Dawson would seemingly be due a raise, but will it come with the 49ers?