Cleveland rewards kicker for consistency

The Cleveland Browns made an important move toward the future by reaching a five-year, $7.1 million contract extension with placekicker Phil Dawson, who has been with the franchise since it came into the league in 1999.

Dawson, 30, received $1.8 million in signing, option and reporting bonuses in his extension. He was scheduled to become a free agent after the season and was scheduled to have a base salary of $700,000

The Browns rewarded Dawson for his consistency. In four of his six seasons with the Browns, Dawson connected on at least 80 percent of his field goals, including four 80 percent seasons in the past five years.

Last year, he made 24 of 29 field goals and scored 100 points for the Browns. His career average of 81.8 percent is one of the best in the AFC.

Dawson was with the Raiders and Patriots before signing with the Browns in 1999, the Browns expansion season. He's kicked in all but four games since the Browns entered the NFL as an expansion franchise.

The 5-foot-11, 200-pound kicker was an undrafted player out of Texas.