With Phil Dawson extremely unlikely to be the recipient of his third-straght franchise tag, Mike Florio of NBC’s Pro Football Talk believes that the team should utilize this season’s tag on a fellow special teamer in punter Reggie Hodges.
Kicker Phil Dawson was tagged in 2011 and 2012. Using it a third time would entitle him to quarterback money. So if it’s used, it won’t be used on him. Punter Reggie Hodges is hitting the market after three years with the team. Though his performance doesn’t cry out “franchise tag,” it could be cheaper to squat on him for a year than to sign a replacement on the open market; that’s why so many punters and kickers have been tagged in recent years.
Hodges missed the entire 2011 season following an Achilles tear and left a lot to be desired in terms of net punt yardage in 2012. While he will live in infamy due to his fake punt-turned-huge run against the New Orleans Saints, and was the team’s most recent recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award,
In 2012, he recorded 72 punts with an average of 42.0 yards and a net average of 36.9. He has landed 24 punts inside the 20 yard line, which was tied for the sixth-most in the NFL while being a part of the league’s third-best special teams unit per Football Outsiders.
The Browns recently signed punter Spencer Lanning, rendering the “market” analysis moot.