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49ers roster, 90-in-90 breakdowns: Phil Dawson

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Breaking down the 90 players on the 49ers offseason roster in 90 posts (over 90 or so days). We move on to kicker Phil Dawson.

Each year, we run a series of post called "90-in-90" here at Niners Nation. The idea is that we'll take a look at every single player on the roster, from the very bottom to the top and break them down a few different ways. This is to help give everyone a basic understanding of a roster. Of course, this roster will change, and some days we'll have more than one so it's not strictly one per day but you get the idea.

The San Francisco 49ers signed Phil Dawson to a one-year contract extension this offseason, and in a bit of a surprise, fully guaranteed the entire thing. It's not that Dawson hasn't been a solid contributor in his three seasons with the team, but you rarely see a fully guaranteed deal, even at only one year.

Dawson is coming off a very solid season. He was 24 of 27 on field goals, converting all three from 50+. He was 20 of 21 on extra attempts, which was his first miss since 2009.

Prior to 2015, Dawson converted 25 of 31 field goals in 2014, and 32 of 36 in 2013. He had a career high 93.5 percent conversion rate his final year in Cleveland, but I think we are all satisfied with his work thus far. He had some early hiccups in 2014, but was fine down the stretch, and bounced back well last season.

The team signed Corey Acosta as a camp leg last year, and has now signed John Lunsford as a camp leg this year.

Contract status

Dawson signed a one year deal worth $3,134,000. The deal was fully guaranteed upon signing, and is the same base salary he had in 2015.

Why he might improve

As a field goal kicker, Dawson is pretty much at about his ceiling. We know what the 49ers are going to get from him. However, a rule change this year will be something to consider in whether or not Dawson gets more kickoff work.

A new rule has touchbacks on kickoffs coming out to the 25 instead of the 20. There are some kickers who think the rule could incentivize teams kicking short of the goal line, forcing players to bring the ball out. Bradley Pinion eventually took over kickoff duties last season, but with shorter kickoffs potentially being worth considering, it could impact that role.

Why he might regress

Phil's no spring chicken anymore! He turned 41 this offseason, but for kickers, that's not exactly too old. Kickers sometimes can run into that wall where things just fall apart. I don't expect it, but it could happen at any point.

Odds of making the roster

The 49ers signed undrafted kicker John Lunsford and released Corey Acosta. The 49ers can certainly take a cap hit for releasing Dawson and his fully guaranteed contract, but I just don't see it happening. Maybe his roster chances are not quite 100 percent, but they're pretty close.