Former Pro Bowl K Dawson retiring as a Brown

Kicker Phil Dawson announced Thursday that he will retire from the NFL, and will sign a contract with Cleveland so he can retire as a Brown.

Signed by the Browns when they returned to the league in 1999, Dawson played in 215 games, third most by a Cleveland player. He also became the team's first Pro Bowl kicker in 2012, as Lou Groza was selected as a tackle.

Dawson ranks eighth in NFL history with 441 made field goals (305 for Cleveland, a team record). After leaving the Browns, he played for San Francisco (2013-16) and Arizona (2017-18).

"We are thrilled that Phil Dawson wanted to come back and retire as a Cleveland Brown," said team co-owners 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."

Dawson, 44, sits 11th on the NFL's all-time scoring list with 1,847 points in 20 seasons.

ESPN's Josh Weinfuss contributed to this report.