Gag order still in place regarding Phil Dawson negotiations

Former Browns placekicker Phil Dawson, in lockstep with the team’s front office, will not comment on any negiations that may or may not have been had during the Pro Bowler’s recent stint as a free agent.

Dawson held a conference call on Thursday afternoon just days after signing a one-year, $2.25 million deal with the San Francisco 49ers. When asked about any discussions with his employer of 14 seasons, Dawson replicated the silence emanating from Berea.

“I appreciate the interest in that, but I’m 100 percent moving forward and that’s just how I’m going to roll with this,” Dawson stated. “That’s probably a better question for somebody else.”

Though provided with multiple inquiries, Browns CEO Joe Banner perpetually refused to comment on the team’s dealings with the kicker. Prior to Dawson agreeing to terms with the 49ers, Banner stated that he “did, but did not” understand why Cleveland fans had such appreciation for the kicker. Following the contract announcement, the team issued a statement wishing Dawson well.

“It’s been an absolute privilege to wear that orange helmet and represent those fans every week,” said Dawson.

[Related: The Browns are right to lay low with Lombardi]

  • MrCleaveland

    How could Banner NOT understand why we appreciate Dawson?

    Is he that clueless, or did he just botch his answer to the question?

    As for nobody talking . . . whatever. It doesn’t matter.


  • cmm13

    Sorry for going off the rails here a bit but if I’m not mistaken this is how it really went down:
    Holmgren/Heckert offered Phil a multi-year deal in 2010
    Phil declined
    They franchised him two years in a row to keep him
    New regime says thank you for your services Phil, we’ll both keep tight lipped so neither look bad.
    Enter Cleveland Browns Fan/Talking Radio Head…. BANNER IS A WEASEL, PHIL IS A LEGEND, BLAH BLAH BLAH
    ….if my timeline is off or these statements are not facts in anyway…. i really don’t care, I’m just sick of hearing about Phill Dawson / Josh Cribbs.
    Please oh please oh please end Spring Training soon.

  • MSkog

    Here’s what I think happened. Dawson told Banner he wasn’t going to re-sign. I think it’s pretty obvious he’s wanted out for the last 2 years. So unless Banner made a ridiculous contract offer, which Banner is too smart to do, Dawson was walking. So why all the silence? My take is Banner is covering for Dawson, taking the heat from fans and media for Phil’s desire to leave. The Browns respect Dawson and his desire to leave. By keeping silent they let him leave unscathed. Imagine that? Evil Joe Banner taking the high road and providing cover for the sainted Phil Dawson.

    If you look at the deal Dawson signed with SF, 1 year at 2.5, I think Banner would’ve re-signed him for that. Why didn’t he? Phil wanted gone.

    As for those asking for the Browns to talk more than they already have? I’m glad they are being pros about this. They really have nothing to gain. I have no desire to see this become Welker in NE or Urlacher in Chicago.

  • Harv 21

    Love Dawson. Respect Cribbs’s game.

    Now, can’t wait until local fans so keenly mourn the loss of players not on special teams. Will probably mean we’ve at least reached mediocre.


    Can we please stop getting in a fuss over a kicker and a kick returner, on a 5 win team, in March, during March Madness, and on the brink of and an exciting Tribe season? If I even see one headline or talk show host talk about this for more than a minute come April 1st I will go bonkers. Love the Browns, can’t stand some Browns fans (or NFL fans in general).

    Personally, I just can’t stand the NFL offseason at all. MLB, NBA, NCAA offseason stories I can handle because they’re usually interesting and don’t steal headlines every single day, but the NFL offseason is unbearable. Everyone’s grasping at straws to find some story or manufacture some sort of drama. ESPN spends whole segments on meaningless NFL. We got Meril Hodges over here breaking down cover 2 defenses on tape on May 15th.

  • zonk

    So you are okay with the Browns downgrading from their only position of strength?

  • I believe DL, for one, is a position of strength–one that was upgraded as well.

  • Amen brother. It’s like the Browns fan’s version of the “I have a dream” speech. Can’t wait for that day.

  • Will you cry when Dawson/Cribbs/both get a statue? Phil IS a legend. Banner IS a weasel. Why are you so mad about it?

  • tomcst

    I couldn’t agree more. Why else would Phil not want to comment on an negotiations or contract offers? I can’t blame him for wanting to go to a team that has a good shot at making the playoffs.

  • Porkchop

    Careful, you’re going to make Banner angry. I have heard you wouldnt like him when hes angry.

  • Garry_Owen

    Q: What have been the two constants for the last 14 years?

    A: Losing; and Phil Dawson.

    Boy, am I glad this curse is broken!

    /I need something to go on.

  • derek

    When that position is kicker, then yes.

  • cmm13

    If you can’t see that when a team’s only position of offensive strength is their kicker we have bigger problems than signing said kicker.

  • Hypno_Toad

    Who downvoted this comment? This is the most real sh** I’ve ever seen on this website.

  • Matt S

    Agreed. If Dawson wasn’t offered a contract, I don’t see why he wouldn’t have said so. Coupled with the one reporter noting that Dawson had carved a “Phil was here 1999-2012” into his locker “prison style”, I don’t doubt that this is what happened.

    Phil saw an opportunity to go kick with his former coach (who he’s probably quite close to), who happens to be on a super bowl caliber team. If you’re Phil… why wouldn’t you want to go there? Why would you waste away, year after year in Cleveland, winning nothing until you inevitably start to feel the effects of aging? It’s the right thing, all around.

  • mgbode

    neither should/will get a statue. Phil should get into the ring of honor after he retires. he suffered with us and gave us some of the only good memories over the past decade+.