According to Adam Schefter, formerly of the NFL Network and soon to be joining ESPN, Cleveland Browns placekicker Phil Dawson is likely to be a holdout for the 2009 season.
"Prediction based on what I'm hearing: Phil Dawson will not kick for Cleveland this season. He wants a new contract and there's a standoff." - Schefter's Twitter
The man who kept the Browns afloat last year in an anemic offense is asking for a new contract, and after initially returning to the mini-camp sessions, it appears he's ready to stay home until he gets it.
What does this mean for Cleveland? With a stubborn new coach, who lacks the people skills to see players as anything more than employees, it probably means an exit for Dawson from the Cleveland Browns.
Last year, Dawson was seemingly the only offensive player who could put points on the board, and it would be heartbreaking to lose him.
All feelings aside for Dawson, who is the last of the "new Browns", sticking to the Mangini philosophy, if you don't like it, there's the door.
You signed a contract to kick footballs, now go out and kick and stop complaining. If you're still good at the end of the year, you'll get a new contract, but you won't be handed one before this season.
Last season No. 4 put up 108 points, making 30/36 field goal attempts and went flawless on 18 extra point attempts, putting him at 83.3% for the year.
While it would be hard to replace his popularity and what he means to the fans of Cleveland, the unrestricted free agent pool is full of suitable replacements.
John Carney of the New York Giants, who went 35/38 last season, kicking 92.1%, and going 38/38 on extra point attempts is still available.
If it comes down to Dawson not wanting to get on board and honor his contract, life will go on, and business will be as usual. Sorry Phil, you've been great for us and your loyalty has been amazing, but this new management won't be strong-armed.
Hope to see Dawson back this season, but if he isn't, expect Carney to be getting a call from George Kokinis pretty soon.