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Thoughts on Browns tagging K Dawson

The Cleveland Browns used the franchise tag on kicker Phil Dawson Tuesday. Here are some thoughts on their decision:

  • This probably doesn't please Dawson, who had every intention of moving on after spending 12 mostly losing seasons in Cleveland. The Browns only made the playoffs once in that span and Dawson, 36, sounded as though he was ready to play for a winner in the latter stages of his career. He's also been unhappy about his contract for several years as new regimes kept passing him over for contract extensions. So it will be interesting to see how he reacts to this.

  • With uncertainty about the future of the tag, this likely means the Browns will try to negotiate an extension with Dawson. Tagging Dawson takes other teams out of the equation, which should increase his chances of staying in a Browns uniform in 2011. This would be good for Browns fans, because he is arguably the team's most popular player.

  • Cleveland extends the streak of tagging kickers in the AFC North to three consecutive years. The Cincinnati Bengals (Shayne Graham) and Pittsburgh Steelers (Jeff Reed) both used the franchise tags on kickers in 2009 and 2010, respectively. Both were disasters, so will see how this situation ends up for Cleveland.