One of the most beloved players in Eagles history, free safety Brian Dawkins, announced his retirement after 16 years in the NFL - 13 with the Eagles - on Twitter at 9:50 Monday morning.
"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," Dawkins wrote. "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."
The Eagles will unveil their plans to honor the future Hall of Fame safety in the near future. Reaction swiftly poured in from former Eagles teammates as well as the NFL's commissioner.
"Congrats @BrianDawkins on a successful 16-year career," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell tweeted. "Great player. More importantly, great man in his community & locker room."
"@BrianDawkins thank you bro for being an example(pro,father,bro,husband) for all of us who were blessed to know you!" former Eagles linebacker Ike Reese tweeted.
"@BrianDawkins You have done great on and of the (field)," cornerback Asante Samuel tweeted. "True definition of a warrior and passionate player. God Bless! #halloffamer"
Dawkins was a four-time first-team Associated Press All-Pro and seven-time Pro Bowl selection during his Eagles tenure from 1996-2008. A second-round pick out of Clemson, Dawkins revolutionized the safety position with his ability to cover the field, blitz, tackle and create big plays. Dawkins finished his Eagles career tied for first all-time in interceptions with 34 and 19th in sacks with 21. The late Jim Johnson made Dawkins the centerpiece of his hallmark defenses and Dawkins was a big reason the Eagles reached five NFC Championship Games from 2001-04 and 2008.
Nicknamed "Weapon X" for his on-field alter ego, which was based on the X-Men comic book character Wolverine, Dawkins embodied the City of Philadelphia perfectly with his passion, intensity, hustle, desire, drive and leadership. Not only was Dawkins a role model on the field, he was active in the community and one of the true leaders in the locker room.
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