"I competed against Brian for many years with the Giants and coached him once in the Pro Bowl, but to be around him every day for a season was truly special. I’m not sure there was a more respected guy in our building than Brian. He knows defense, he knows football, and he knows what it takes to win. I’ve got the utmost admiration for him as both a player and person.
"It’s been an honor and a privilege to coach Brian. Although I will miss the positive impact he had on our team, I congratulate Brian on a tremendous career, and wish him and his family all the best going forward."
According to LJ and Andrew Mason, Dawkins will officially retire on Saturday as a Philadelphia Eagle.
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.
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!!!
Brian Dawkins Tribute Video.
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.
And someday -- possibly as soon as the class of 2017 -- he could be remembered as a Pro Football Hall of Famer.
"If that's something that happens, that will be a blessing," Dawkins said. "I never entered the NFL saying, ‘You know, I'm going to be a Hall of Famer.’ I know some guys do that; I just wasn't one of them. That wasn't my mindset. I did not enter the league saying, ‘I want to play 16 years.’ None of these things were in my mind, so, at this point, now that I can really reflect on my career, if it happens, I will share it with my fans and all those that cheered me on. I would share it with my coaches and teammates.
"It would be an absolute blessing and honor."
Personally I am really disappointed that Dawk didn't come back for that last shot at a ring after our team is continuing to build in the right direction. But he goes out on his terms and at his time. Thank you B-Dawk for everything you did for the Broncos and the community.
Also remember the draft competition submission post below. ~ Aussie.