SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The 49ers signed former Browns place-kicker Phil Dawson, a Pro Bowl selection who ranked second in field goal percentage last season.

“That was a need, and it was a big need,” John Madden told the KCBS morning crew. “I think probably the better you get, the more important that position is… If I got a situation where I needed a kick to win a Super Bowl, to win a championship game, to win a playoff, to win a game to get me in the playoffs, he’d be the most important guy on the team.”

Dawson is 38-years-old, but Madden noted that he appears injury-free.

“They have a really good team, and when they’re as good as they are, you know that they’re going to be in competitive situations in every game,” he said. “They’re thinking of winning Super Bowls, they’re not thinking of ‘let’s see if we can scratch out seven or eight wins here.'”

More NFL players are being asked to take pay cuts as they progress through their careers, and more first year players are making NFL rosters than every before.

“It’s a simple thing,” Madden said. “There’s a pot of money, and you can only spend that pot of money. Now if you have a couple of really highly paid players, then you’re going to have less money for the rest of your team… The more high salary guys you have – I mean you just figure out – that means the more low salary guys that you have.” (7:55)

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Listen to the John Madden segment live weekday mornings at 8:15 on KCBS All News 740 AM/106.9 FM.


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