It is done. Phil Dawson is leaving the Cleveland Browns after 14 years as their Kicker. Dawson became a free agent on March 14th, but many in Cleveland were hoping the Browns would offer him a 2 or 3-year contract. Tuesday, that hope was lost. Phil Dawson had been offered and will accept a 1-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers.
Let us have a moment of silence for our dearly departed kicker…
Dawson went on a three-minute, three-tweet frenzy, in his typical stand-up guy style. The first two were for the fans in Cleveland and the third that can only be described as heart warming to those who love not only the Browns player, but also Phil Dawson the man.
“Hey, Cleveland. Thank you for a tremendous ride. Your love, support & encouragement have blessed me deeply”
“Playing for you has been one of the great joys of my life, and I wish you all the best.”
“I am humbled & thrilled to have the opportunity to continue my career with my new team, the SF 49ers!”
The scuttlebutt around Cleveland is that Dawson wasn’t resigned because of his age; he’s 38. Age didn’t seem to be an issue last season, when he kicked 93.5% this year, only missing 2 field goals all season. Dawson has had a lot of success kicking in the crazy wind and weather on the lakefront and he will take that experience to the awkward winds of Candlestick Park.
The move also reunites Dawson with his old special teams coach, Brad Seely, who’s moved to the 49ers following the 2010 season.
At San Francisco, Dawson will be wearing a new number; Punter Andy Lee currently is wearing Dawson’s traditional No. 4 jersey, and Dawson would never ask him to part with his number. Dawson has been wearing the No. 4 since his days as a Texas Longhorn, long before his career in Cleveland. According to the San Jose Mercury News, Dawson’s son suggested he choose No. 8, Phil said, “Son, in San Francisco, you don’t wear No. 8.” This is because No. 8 is the retired number of Steve Young’s jersey, who lead the 49ers to their last Super Bowl win.
The 49ers are hoping that next year, Dawson will help them repeat this year’s success, except this year they want to actually win the Super Bowl instead of just getting to the big game.
I’m not from San Francisco, but this song seems mildly appropriate. I didn’t leave my heart there, but they certainly have part of it now. I will be in an official period of mourning until further notice. Yes I’m wearing black.