The top kicker on the free-agent market has a new home. Former Brown Phil Dawson tweeted Tuesday that he's headed for San Francisco. Dawson signed a one-year deal with the team. The 49ers had been in the market for a kicker since releasing David Akers on March 6.
I am humbled & thrilled to have the opportunity to continue my career with my new team, the SF 49ers!— Phil Dawson (@phil_dawson_4) March 19, 2013
Dawson should be an upgrade from Akers in about every way imaginable for the 49ers, at least if last season is any indication. In 2012, Dawson connected on 29 of 31 field-goal attempts for a 93.5 percent conversion rate that ranked second in the league. Akers ranked second-to-last at 69 percent.
The move should give the 49ers more confidence on long-range kicks. Last season, Dawson was a perfect 13 of 13 on kicks over 40 yards, and Akers only connected on 9 of 19.
Dawson is the 12th most accurate kicker in NFL history (97.8 percent) and is one of only 25 kickers in league history to have converted at least 300 field-goal attempts.
There is one major achievement that Dawson's career is lacking though and that's a playoff win. In his 14-year-career -- all with the Browns -- Dawson has been to the postseason once (2002). The opportunity to play on a contender may have made the decision to sign with San Francisco easy.
The signing will make the 49ers overall roster younger, but just barely. The 38-year-old Dawson is 45 days younger than Akers.
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