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Browns sign kicker as Dawson absent

By Marla Ridenour Published: May 18, 2010

Perhaps fearing that Phil Dawson's absence from organized training activities could become a prolonged holdout, the Browns signed kicker Shaun Suisham and waived kicker Leigh Tiffin.

Suisham has appeared in 57 games since joining the league as an undrafted free agent with Pittsburgh in April, 2005. He's made 87 of 110 field goal attempts and all but two of 103 extra points. Suisham played in eight games in two stints with Dallas from (2005-06, 2009) and in 49 games with Washington (2006-09).

The Bowling Green product's best season came last year, when Suisham hit 20 of 24 field goals and 25 of 26 PATs in 14 games with Dallas and Washington.

At Bowling Green from 2001-04, Suisham became the school's all-time leading scorer (361 points) and set a team record with 45 career field goals. As a senior, the native of Wallaceburg, Ontario was a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award.

On Monday night at the Akron Browns Backers Banquet, Browns general manager Tom Heckert revealed Dawson's absence from OTAs, but gave no details.

Dawson has been seeking a new contract for some time. He may also be upset over the Browns having no backup kicker in training camp, which may have contributed to a calf injury that cost him five games in '09.

According to the NFL Players Association web site, Dawson's salary for this season is $1 million, the same as 2009.

Asked if it was a contract issue, Heckert said, ''I don't want to get into that, but that's not the whole thing with him.'' Asked if his Dawson's absence was related to the circumstances surrounding his injury, Heckert said, ''I don't know the exact answer to that. You have to ask him.''

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