Dawson has been unhappy with his contract for a couple of seasons. He signed a five-year, $7.1 million deal in 2005 and played the final year of that deal in 2010 which paid him $1 million. He even skipped some of the Browns OTAs last year in protest of his contract.
It's unclear how Dawson feels about the tag. A lot of players don't like it because they want a long-term deal but, for a position as replaceable as a kicker, that seems like a decent pay day for one season.
The deadline for teams to use the franchise tag ends on Thursday. If the two sides are talking about a new contract, then it apparently wasn't going to get done before then.
For more on the Browns, check out SB Nation's Dawgs By Nature.