49ers in Free Agency: Phil Dawson

It’s hard to respect the kicker.  They play a game where grown men are crushing each other at high rates of speed.  Careers are short, and injuries are prevalent.  And in this hard nosed game of complete, utter chaos all a kicker has to do is, well…….kick.  Rarely do they involve themselves within the game of football where a profession and overall quality of life are at stake.    Many and most placekickers avoid contact at all costs.  But following the up and down season of David Akers in 2012, the same season where he caused follicles of my hair to descend from my head, I have the utmost respect for Phil Dawson.

As the San Francisco 49ers placekicker, Phil Dawson was impressive.  In a season where Dawson connected on 88.9% of his field goal opportunities, he provided stability at the position that hasn’t been seen since the retirement of Joe Nedney.  Even more impressively was Dawson’s accuracy from 40 yards and beyond.  Discounting his week 7 free kick miss from 71 yards, he only missed two attempts beyond 40 yards all season.   His stellar numbers also include a perfect 7 for 7 performance in three playoff games.  Let’s not forget that Dawson also handles kickoff duties.

At a position that garners very little respect and  is filled by a man approaching 40, signing Phil Dawson to another contract is a necessity.  Until the 49ers offense can show that it can consistently produce touchdown sustaining drives, the value of the team’s kicker will always be at an all time high.  Drafting reliability at the kicker position is far too much of a crap shoot when reliability exists right here in Phil Dawson.  He is without a doubt the 49ers second biggest in house need that’s involved in free agency.

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