49ers sign former Browns kicker Phil Dawson

3/20/13 in NFL   |   IvanRogers   |   1352 respect

The San Francisco 49ers’ search for a replacement to kicker David Akers comes to an end after the team replaced him with another veteran by signing former Cleveland Browns kicker Phil Dawson on Tuesday.
"I am humbled & thrilled to have the opportunity to continue my career with my new team, the SF 49ers!" Phil Dawson tweeted after the team announced the signing.
Phil Dawson is coming off one of his most successful seasons, connecting on a career-high 93.5 percent of his kicks (29 of 31made) last season.  The 38-year-old Phil Dawson made all 13 of his attempts from 40 yards and beyond and converting on 7 of 7 attempts form 50 yards plus, while earning his first Pro Bowl nod at the end of last season. Over the past two seasons, Phil Dawson has made 13 0f 14 attempts from 40 yards and beyond, while converting on 14 of 15 attempts from 50 yards or longer.
Signed as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Texas by the Cleveland Browns in 1999, Phil Dawson was one of the few consistent contributors on a team that made it to the playoffs just once during his time in Cleveland.
Although there were possibilities of Phil Dawson ending his career with the Cleveland Browns, who used the franchise tag on him the past two years after failing to work out a long term deal, Dawson is ready to move onto the next task in the NFC West.
 “I’m grateful for the road that it’s been and excited for where it goes now,” said Phil Dawson on Tuesday.
“We want to thank Phil for all of his years of service to the Cleveland Browns,” the Cleveland Browns released in a statement. “He accomplished a great deal in his time here on the field, as a team leader and in the community.
Phil Dawson replaces six-time Pro Bowler David Akers, with whom the San Francisco 49ers parted ways nearly two weeks ago, after he led a dismal season, making only 29 of 42 field goal attempts. However, David Akers was a major factor in bringing an end to the San Francisco 49ers worst-franchise stretch of losing seasons (without winning a or playoff berth), with an NFL single-season record  of 44 field goals in 2011 en route to winning the division.
“I haven’t had any direct conversation with David, but he’s a guy I hold in the highest regard both on and off the field,” said Phil Dawson. “There’s worse people to follow than him. The career he’s had is one we all wish we could have.”
In San Francisco, Phil Dawson will re-joins former Cleveland Browns special teams coordinator Brad Seely, to play for a Super Bowl contending team that lost last season’s championship game to the Baltimore Ravens.
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