Brian Dawkins, in case you haven't heard, is leaving professional football. When the former Philadelphia Eagles and Denver Broncos safety decided to announce his retirement this morning (April 23rd), he did so in an increasingly conventional manner: He posted to Twitter. This may not be the sort of official statement that his fans would have liked, but at least they got to hear it from the man himself. In a manner of speaking, anyway.
Here's what Dawkins tweeted to his followers:
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. 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. #BBTB
Although news agencies have attempted to reach Dawkins for an interview, the NFL star has turned them down, stating that he's simply too emotional to discuss the matter. I'd say that's entirely understandable.
Dawkins spent a lot of time with the Philadelphia Eagles, though he spent the last three seasons with the Denver Broncos. In a prepared statement, head coach told the Denver Post, "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. 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."
Dawkins became a free agent in March when his contract with the Broncos expired, though he took a few weeks to figure out what he wanted to do with the rest of his remarkable career. After 16 years playing professional football, Dawkins ends his career with 624 total tackles, 26 sacks, 98 passes defensed, 37 interceptions, and 28 forced fumbles. Impressive, to say the least.
Since he announced his retirement via Twitter, it shouldn't come as an overwhelming surprise that his legion of fans have reacted accordingly. By this, of course, I mean they have tweeted their emotions to the masses. You can have a look at a small cluster of those reactions below.
Brian Dawkins is simply One of The Best Eagles Player to ever put on the jersey and The Best Man I have had the pleasure of playing with!
Salute to one of the greats, Brian Dawkins
He is a man of strong faith, and regardless of what he believes in, I have such high respect for it. Thank you Brian Dawkins for everything.
S/O to Brian Dawkins for his contributions to the Eagles organization. I used to love Brian Dawkins entrances out of the tunnel.