BEREA, Ohio — Longtime NFL kicker Phil Dawson is calling it a career, and fittingly, he will do so as a member of the Cleveland Browns.
The Browns announced after Thursday’s practice that Dawson will sign a contract and retire with the very team he spent 14 seasons with during his 20-year career in the National Football League. Dawson will hold a press conference at team headquarters in Berea Friday to discuss his career.
“To have the opportunity to come back home and retire with the organization and the city that I love is incredibly meaningful to me,” Dawson said in a release announcing the move. “It only seems right to have the opportunity to do this with the fans that have been so good to me and my family.”
And the Browns would not have Dawson go out any other way than wearing the orange and brown.
“We are thrilled that Phil Dawson wanted to come back and retire as a Cleveland Brown,” said Dee and Jimmy Haslam. “He epitomizes the characteristics that we look for in our players -- hardworking, professional, consistent and he was a pillar in the community. He is a great example for all current and future Browns.”
Signed by the expansion Browns in 1999, Dawson won the kicking job out of training camp that season and went on to become the most prolific kicker in franchise history, as he converted a team record 305 field goal attempts.
In his final season with the Browns, Dawson converted 28 of his 29 field-goal attempts and extended his career-best 29 consecutive field goals streak into a franchise record. Of those 28 conversions, six were from at least 50 yards.
Over the 2011 and 2012 seasons with the Browns, Dawson was among the NFL's best with 13 field goals of at least 50 yards. His 84.2 field goal percentage was the best all-time among kickers with at least 300 made field goals.
In addition to the 305 field goals, Dawson holds franchise records for career field goal percentage (84.0), most field goals in a season (30 in 2008), highest field goal percentage in a season (93.5 in 2012), field goals in a game (six on November 5, 2006), most consecutive field goals made (209) and most consecutive games with a field goal (23).
Dawson totaled 1,271 points in his career with the Browns, second-most in franchise history, and his 215 games are the third-most ever in Cleveland. Dawson is the only kicker in franchise history to be selected to the Pro Bowl, as Lou Groza made the all-star squad as a tackle.
A product of The University of Texas, Dawson played for the San Francisco 49ers (2013-2016) and Arizona Cardinals (2017-2018) after his Browns career came to an end.
Dawson will walk away from the game ranked in the top 20 in NFL history in games played (seventh with 305), field goals made (eighth with 441), points scored (11th with 1,847) and field goal percentage (16th with 83.8).