After 16 years of stopping every runner or receiver who entered into his vicinity, Brian Dawkins has put a halt to his own career. Monday morning on Twitter, Dawkins posted the following announcement.
The Lord has blessed me to play in the NFL for 16 years. I would like to thank the Eagles & the Broncos 4 believing In me. I would like 2 thank all my teammates & Coaches that I have been blessed 2 go to battle with. Along with u, the fans 4 helping make my career 1 that i have enjoyed tremendously. In other words. I am announcing my retirement from the NFL. #BBTB
The Denver Post attempted to talk to Dawkins after he made the announcement, but Dawkins declined, saying he was too emotional at the moment.
"Brian Dawkins is one of the best to ever play the game, a future Hall of Famer who changed the way his position is played," Broncos head coach John Fox said in a statement released by the team on Monday. "In many ways, he helped my job as a coach with his great leadership and preparation. He brought so much to the table and was such an enormous asset to our football team.
"His contributions go far beyond the wins, interceptions, sacks and Pro Bowls he accumulated during his career. Brian is the definition of class and is what you want in a leader. I know our players, coaches, fans and so many within the National Football League feel the same way. I competed against Brian for many years with the Giants and coached him once in the Pro Bowl, but to be around him every day for a season was truly special. I'm not sure there was a more respected guy in our building than Brian. He knows defense, he knows football and he knows what it takes to win. I've got the utmost admiration for him as both a player and person.
"It's been an honor and a privilege to coach Brian. Although I will miss the positive impact he had on our team, I congratulate Brian on a tremendous career and wish him and his family all the best going forward."
Dawkins missed the last five games of the Broncos season with an injury, and had been a free agent since the season ended.
In 2009, Dawkins left the Philadelphia Eagles for the Denver Broncos in a move that seemed to hurt the Eagles way more than it helped the Broncos. Dawkins wasn't just a great player at the time, but the leader and spiritual backbone of the Eagles defense. This is over simplifying, but when Dawkins left, the Eagles were fourth in the league in points allowed. The next year, they slipped to 19th.
He retires as a nine-time Pro Bowler (seven of those coming with the Eagles) and a six-time All-Pro. He'll go down in the books as one of the best Eagles, and one of the best safeties, of all time. Some will side with him and some won't, but Dawkins' career was at least good enough to warrant a lengthy Hall of Fame discussion.
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