Talking to myself about the Browns as free agency looms . . .

Question: Would you re-sign Phil Dawson?

Answer: The fact that the first question about retaining a Browns free agent is about a kicker is significant.

Q: Meaning what?

A: Meaning the Browns have 16 free agents, and Dawson (a kicker) is the most prized by the fans. The second is Joshua Cribbs, a special teams player. Part of the reason is they have actually been with the team for a while: Dawson since 1999, Cribbs since 2005.

Q: So would you re-sign Dawson?

A. Yes, to a lucrative two-year deal. I doubt they will.

Q: Why?

A: Because Dawson is 38. At the end of the 2010 season, Eagles President Joe Banner decided not to keep 36-year-old kicker David Akers, who had made the 2010 Pro Bowl. Instead, the Eagles picked Alex Henery in the fourth round from Nebraska, and paid the rookie kicker $2.5 million over four seasons. Akers signed a three-year, $9 million deal with the 49ers. In 2011, Akers was a Pro Bowler again. While the 49ers made the Super Bowl this season, Akers had a rocky season -- connecting on 29-of-42 attempts -- and was cut.

Q: You think Banner will take the same road with Dawson?

A: My guess is he'd rather drop a player a year too early than a year too late. I also wouldn't be shocked if Dawson ends up with the 49ers to kick for Brad Seely, the Browns' former special teams coach.

Q: What about Cribbs?

A: He'll be 30 in June, considered old for a return man. The new kickoff rules also have hurt his value because more are kicked out of the end zone. But my point wasn't to dwell on Dawson and Cribbs.

Q: OK, what is the point?

A: That one of the free agents leaving is Mohamed Massaquoi. That means the Browns had three picks in the second-round of the 2009 draft -- Brian Robiskie, David Veikune and Massaquoi. All are gone. None made any real impact. The Browns wasted those valuable choices.