After 16 years as an NFL safety, Brian Dawkins has decided to hang up the cleats.
Dawkins was an unrestricted free agent this offseason after his contract with the Broncos expired and he missed all or most of the final five regular season and playoff games of the 2011 season with a neck injury. Dawkins wasn’t expected back in Denver and he announced on Twitter Monday that he won’t be playing anywhere.
“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.”
Dawkins was a second round pick of the Eagles in 1996 and spent the first 13 years of his career in Philadelphia. He led their defense to four NFC Championship Games and one Super Bowl appearance and made four Associated Press All-Pro teams during his time with the team. He made nine Pro Bowls and was also named to the NFL’s All-Decade team for the 2000s. He left the Eagles for Denver as a free agent before the 2009 season and his play didn’t slip all that significantly once in Denver.
His health did, however, and that’s probably why Dawkins has decided to call it a career.