Kicker Phil Dawson #4 of the Cleveland Browns kicks off against the Denver Broncos during a game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on December 23, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Browns 34-12.
Photographer: (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
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CLEVELAND - It came down to a few simple tweets for former Browns kicker Phil Dawson.
"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 Browns let Dawson become a free agent last week.
The Browns used the franchise tag on Dawson the last last two seasons, meaning that he received an average of the top five salaries for kickers in the NFL. If the Browns wanted to franchise him for a third straight season they would have had to pay him an average of the top five salaries in the NFL.
The team released the following statement on Dawson Tuesday evening:
"We want to thank Phil for all of his years of service to the Cleveland Browns. He accomplished a great deal in his time here on the field, as a team leader and in the community. We know how much Phil meant to our organization and our fans, and he will always hold a special place in our franchise's history and with the city of Cleveland. We want to wish Phil and his family the best of success in San Francisco."
Dawson made $3.8 million last season.
Dawson was named to his first Pro Bowl this season. The Texas native turned 38 in January. His 116 points in 2012 was the second best total of his career. He was 29 of 31 connecting on 95.5% of his field goals. He kicked his way to 120 points in with a 93.1 % success rate in 2007.
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