Brian Dawkins, one of the fiercest safeties to ever play in the NFL, announced his retirement from football via Twitter on Monday. The announcement, while not totally unexpected, still came as something of a mild surprise to all the fans who took joy in watching him dominate over the course of his lengthy career – first with the Philadelphia Eagles for 13 years, and then with the Denver Broncos for another three.
This was the message he posted on his account that made his decision official:
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
By the time Dawkins left Philly, he was the Eagles’ all-time leader in games played and interceptions. And aside from his supporting role in the Donovan McNabb-Terrell Owens feud, most of the memories surrounding his time there are completely happy ones.
Now, at 38, Dawkins steps away from the game as a surefire Hall of Famer and, more importantly, on his own terms.
He will be eligible for the yellow jacket beginning in 2017.