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
Dawkins spent three seasons with the Broncos after 13 in Philadelphia, and he was named to eight Pro Bowls and was a four-time first-team All-Pro. He started 39 of the 41 games he played for Denver, but a neck injury forced the future HOFer to miss the team's regular season finale and two playoff games.
Originally signed to a five-year deal in February 2009, Dawkins took a significant pay cut last August and the final two years of his original deal were wiped out, meaning Dawk had become an unrestricted free agent in March. Therefore, his retirement will have no cap implications for the Broncos, who signed veteran safety Mike Adams to a two-year deal on March 15.
Also on the Broncos' roster at safety are 2011 draft picks Quinton Carter and Rahim Moore, and special teams standout David Bruton. There has been speculation from both outside the organization and the player himself that Champ Bailey could move from corner to free safety sometime before his contract runs out after the 2014 season.
Via Mike Klis:
Just talked to Brian Dawkins, who just announced retirement. He needs some time before he can talk. "I'm a little emotional right now.''
John Elway reacted to Dawk's announcement via Twitter:
Thank you, @BrianDawkins, for being a GREAT Bronco and showing such an incredible commitment to your team and community....Congratulations on a Hall of Fame career, Dawk!!!
And, how could we mark the end of Weapon X's career without one of these?
- Broncos TV presents highlights from Wolverine's time in Denver
- Official site story from Gray Caldwell
- NFL.com profile
- Videos at NFL.com
- PFR profile
- Reaction from SportsGrid
- The Twittersphere reacts, as curated by Lindsay Jones
- Mike Klis's full story for the DP; Dawkins says he is physically able to play this season but wants to retire healthy and spend more time with his family.
- Andrew Mason writes that had Dawkins returned, he would likely have been strictly an early-down player who came off the field on obvious passing downs. Mason expects Mike Adams to man free safety while Quinton Carter takes Dawkins's strong safety spot.
- Jeff Darlington reminds us that Dawkins did not become any less of a leader when his neck injury kept him out of the Broncos' last three games