Brian Dawkins retires

Brian Dawkins is retiring from the NFL. The Denver Broncos nine-time Pro Bowl safety played in the NFL for 16 seasons. A neck injury sustained in December kept him out for the playoffs and end of the season. Dawkins played for the Philadelphia Eagles for the first 13 seasons of his career.

"I would like to thank the Eagles & the Broncos 4 believing in me," Dawkins wrote on his Twitter account. "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."

Broncos executive John Elway wrote via Twitter: "Congratultions on a Hall of Fame career, Dawk!!!" BR> Dawkins, 38, was known for his toughness and cerebral nature.

"Brian Dawkins is one of the best to ever play the game, a future Hall of Famer who changed the way his position is played," Broncos coach John Fox said in a statement. "In many ways, he helped my job as a coach with his great leadership and preparation. He brought so much to the table and was such an enormous asset to our football team. His contributions go far beyond the wins, interceptions, sacks and Pro Bowls he accumulated during his career. Brian is the definition of class and is what you want in a leader. I know our players, coaches, fans and so many within the National Football League feel the same way. 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."

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