49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

March 19, 2013
49ers find their kicker: Phil Dawson


The 49ers today agreed to a deal with veteran kicker Phil Dawson, who tied for second in field-goal accuracy this past season and was named to his first Pro Bowl. Dawson, 38, broke the news himself on his Twitter account: "I am humbled & thrilled to have the opportunity to continue my career with my new team, the SF 49ers!" He had spent his first 14 seasons with the Browns.

Earlier this month, the 49ers parted ways with David Akers, 38, after Akers went through the roughest season of his career. He made only 69 percent of his field goals and blew potential game winners in two overtime games against the Rams. Akers, who struggled with a sports hernia during the second half of the season, was particularly bad from beyond 40 yards, hitting only 9-19 from that distance.

Dawson, meanwhile, was 13-13 from 40 yards and beyond (including 7-7 beyond 50 yards). Overall, he was good on 93.5 percent of his attempts for the Browns, which tied for second place among full-time NFL kickers. Dawson missed just two field goals last year -- a 28-yard attempt against the Raiders that was blocked and a 39-yard try that went wide right in Week 17 in Pittsburgh where it was 18 degrees wind chill with 12 mph winds.

Dawson is familiar to special teams coach Brad Seely, who coached him for two seasons (2009-10) in Cleveland. Dawson is right footed while Akers is a lefty. That will require holder Andy Lee to switch sides, something the athletic Lee has not had a problem doing over his career.

The length of the Dawson's deal is not yet known.

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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