The Browns have used their franchise tag on veteran kicker Phil Dawson, the team announced today. It's the first time the Browns have used the franchise tag.
By designating Dawson as their franchise player, the Browns will be able to negotiate a long-term deal with him. Dawson, 36, is now in line to make about $3.25 million next season, a significant raise from his previous salary of $1 million.
The NFL Players Association has argued that franchise tags won't be valid once the current collective bargaining agreement expires late next week. Still, several teams have recently used the option to keep select players from entering free agency.
Dawson, Cleveland's only remaining player from its expansion season in 1999, led the Browns in 2010 with 97 points, converting 23-of-28 field-goal attempts and all 28 extra-point kicks. He has made 252-of-303 field-goal attempts for a career percentage of 83.2, ranking ninth all-time in NFL history. Dawson is the Browns’ all-time leader in field goals and is third in team history with 1,063 career points.