This spring and last spring are completely different from where Dawkins stands. While he understands that contract issues come up, he knows that they're not good for the team to have to deal with. This spring, there aren't distractions to worry about and the good feelings that Dawkins enjoyed prior to last season have returned to Philadelphia. "When you're having a good time and you're excited about coming to work not just because it's your job. Everybody goes to a job and when you're generally excited to come to work and excited to play that next opponent because you love the comradery you have in the locker room and you love the competition you are going to have when you get on the practice field. Those are the things you cherish about playing this game, and I know I do. Last year, there were just a lot of other things that distracted you from having those feelings."
Understanding about contract situations is something that will come in handy for Dawkins, who is entering the final year of his contract and he admits that he's well aware of that fact. "First of all that's human, that's always going to be in the back of your mind. You want to get a deal done. That is always going to be in the back of your mind and to say that a guy doesn't think about that a lot would be dishonest but when it bothers you, when it prohibits you from doing what you need to do on the field is when it becomes a problem. That is not going to happen with me," promised Dawkins, who doesn't feel any added motivation to play better because he's in a contract year. "You just let me know, did my play change in my last deal in the year going into that contract year to the year after? If it did then to me I'm letting my team down if that's the case."
For an aging player in the final year of their contract, Philadelphia isn't exactly an ideal place to be. Just ask Bobby Taylor and Troy Vincent. Does that make Dawkins nervous? "That's just something that I hope works out in my favor. That's all I can really comment on that. Hopefully the way they handled situations in the past will be thrown out the door when they deal with me, hopefully. Will that be the case, I don't know, but that's what I'm hoping," explained Dawkins. After all, Dawkins loves playing in Philadelphia and while he's not sure how much longer he'll play, he wants to stay in town if possible. "Coming into the league, I thought let get vested then it was like let me get six years. Ok then I thought if I get this, Irvin Fryar he was at 10 at the time and I thought ok let me get 10 years I'll be alright. And now I'm at 11 and I feel great. So I can't put a number on it, I really can't. I'm still running, I'm still able to get to the ball, I still have a desire to stick my nose in things some other guys probably won't, and as long as that desire is there, that thirst, that hunger is there to get into the weight room in the off-season and push myself through some tough workouts then I am going to continue to play this game. I'm not really going to put a number on my career."