On Monday, Brian Dawkins announced Retirement from the NFL after 16 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles (1996-2008) and Denver Broncos (2009-2011). Dawkins softly spoke to the media on the phone about the decision and it was obvious that it was an emotional one.
“I’ve always told people that I would know when it’s time to call it quits. Being a fan of the game and seeing other guys in the past, I’ve always wanted to be somebody that left. It’s probably going to sound crazy, but the fact that I could play another year gave me a lot of peace to say that this was it. It sounds crazy, but that’s really the way that I felt about this, being a guy that supposedly left the game a year too soon, possibly, than a year too late.”
Last season, Dawkins missed four of the team’s final five games — including Denver’s two playoff matchups. Still, at the end of the campaign, he said that “it would’ve taken a move from on high to keep me off the field” had the Broncos advanced to the AFC Championship.
Dawkins stated that health didn’t play a major role in his retirement, neither did his age, as Dawkins said that while there are things he can’t do today that he did at age 24, he’s “a lot wiser and more mature in my decision-making.”
“I wanted to be fair to my teammates, to make sure that I was all-in — not halfway in, not most of the way in, but all the way in, it gave me more pause to make sure that I considered it a little more and thought about it a little more and prayed about it a little more, so that my decision, when announced today, that I was 100 percent with it.”
From here, Dawkins said he’ll go in whatever direction the Lord takes him. A direction he finds very interesting is doing a little coaching on the high school level. That coaching could come in the Mile High City, a place he has grown to love.
“I’ll stay here in Denver,” he said. “This is a beautiful place and my family loves it here. I love it here, so we’ll be here. I’ll raise my kids here.”
When asked how he hopes to be remembered, Dawkins said simply as a player who worked hard every day, someone who teammates could count on no matter the situation.
Watching him play throughout his 16 seasons in the NFL, I can almost assure you that soon after 2017, he will be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.