Cardinals add consistency, possible competition in kicker Phil Dawson

The Arizona Cardinals are set to sign former San Francisco 49ers kicker Phil Dawson.

Grade B: Dawson fills a need because the Cardinals didn't tender their kicker of the past three season, Chandler Catanzaro, which made him a free agent. There was a slew of younger kickers on the market this year, but Dawson has been consistent as an 84.5 percent career kicker, including missing just three in each of the past two seasons.

What it means: It all depends on what the Cardinals decide to do with Catanzaro, who became a free agent at 4 p.m. ET Thursday. The Cardinals could ride with Dawson, who would give them a veteran who has made his share of big kicks in clutch situations. That's what the Cardinals need next season, after Catanzaro contributed to three losses via missed kicks last season. If the Cardinals re-sign Catanzaro at a lower price than his tender would've been, then Arizona will have a competition at kicker that would probably go through the summer and into training camp.

What's the risk? A 42-year-old leg is the biggest risk. Dawson averaged 56.2 yards per kickoff, according to ESPN Stats & Information, and just four of his 41 kicks went for touchbacks. The average starting yard-line position for offenses was 27.2 on Dawson's kickoffs, compared to 25.6 for Catanzaro, who had 52 touchbacks on 83 kickoffs while averaging 62.9 yards per kick. The Cardinals aren't the type of team to keep two kickers -- one for field goals and one for extra points -- but for now, Dawson is their guy, putting an emphasis on their coverage team, which was hampered by injuries last season.