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Arizona Cardinals investment in Phil Dawson never paid off

The Cardinals wanted a veteran kicker and he ended up costing them more than expected.

Arizona Cardinals v Los Angeles Chargers Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

$6 million. That’s what the Arizona Cardinals paid Phil Dawson for his tenure as kicker for the team.

In that time Dawson attempted 48 field goals, making just 37.

That 37/48 mark, or 77.1% marks the worst field goal percentage of Dawson’s 20 year career, by 7%.

Dawson was paid over $160,000 per made field goal in his time with Arizona.

That’s an absurd investment.

The problem became one that we see too often from sports franchises, overcompensating.

In 2013 then Cardinals kicker Jay Feely missed six field goals, going 30/36. The Cardinals found his percentage of field goals made not good enough, especially since two of the sideline misses came from inside 30 yards, at his salary.

So, they corrected and brought in Chandler Catanzaro, who was rock solid as a rookie in 2014, hitting 29/33 on the season.

His second season was even better, as Cat Man hit 28/32, and two of those misses were from 50+. Except, there was an issue, all of a sudden Catanzaro was struggling with extra points, missing five for the Cardinals second highest scoring offense in the NFL.

2016 saw Catanzaro bottom out, going 21/28, 75%, on field goals and missing four extra point attempts.

That meant… Going back to a high paid veteran.

The ironic thing was Dawson was as bad if not worse than both the previous kickers.

Dawson career 77% in Arizona was worse than both Feely’s (85.2%) and Catanzaro’s (84.8%).

Moreover, Dawson’s 92.7% extra point accuracy was worse than Catanzaro’s (93.2%), which was the reason he was not retained. They needed a veteran presence who they could trust.

They spent $6 million to get worse at the position.

Hopefully Zane Gonzalez is the right choice for an upgrade.