Phil Dawson framed his exodus to San Francisco as a golden opportunity for him and not a failure on the Browns to keep a 14-year player within 78 points of the franchise’s all-time scoring record.
Dawson signed a one-year deal on Wednesday with the NFC Champion 49ers for a reported $2.25 million – a severe pay cut from the $3.81 million he made with the Browns in 2012.
Dawson would not even confirm that the Browns never made an offer to him.
“Once it became apparent that San Francisco was a legitimate opportunity, I got extremely excited,” Dawson said on a conference call with Northeast Ohio media that he asked the 49ers to arrange.
“What is there not to like about this place? One of the storied franchises in NFL history, great front office, first class, dynamic head coach who guys love to play for, special teams coach that I have a working relationship with, great group of players, team on the verge of winning it all, great part of the country to live in. I guess the better question is why not here?”
Dawson is a student of history. Over time his chase for Lou Groza’s scoring record became a personal motivator as years of losing took its toll on his hopes of some day kicking for a Super Bowl team. Ultimately, the latter prevailed over the former.
“As I’ve always said, I have the utmost respect for Mr. Groza,” Dawson said. “He is Mr. Cleveland Brown. It only seems right that he’s going to be the all-time leading scorer there. I have no regrets. I have nothing but positive feelings about the whole experience. Some day when I’m done playing, I’ll be able to reflect and evaluate. For Mr. Groza to remain the all-time leading scorer, that just seems right to me.”
Even when unwanted by the Browns after 14 years, Phil Dawson stays classy to the very end
ESPN.com | Mar 21