He played the majority of his career with the Philadelphia Eagles (13 seasons) while closing out his career in Denver the past three seasons.
Dawkins announced his retirement via Twitter at 7:50 am (MST) in the following statement:
@BrianDawkins 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
Dawkins career consisted of 224 games, 1,131 total tackles, 891 solo tackles, 26 sacks, 37 forced fumbles, 37 interceptions, and two touchdowns.
Dawkins was selected to nine pro bowls during his 16 seasons, including his last season with the Broncos, which was also his final NFL game. During the 2002 season in a game against the Houston Texans, he became the first player in NFL history to record a sack, an interception, forced fumble, and touchdown reception in a single game.
On the field, Dawkins was marked by his leadership and passion. During the last few seasons, while in Denver, he was an energizing presence for the Broncos on defense. He would often wreak havoc in the backfield on safety blitzes, or make huge hits in the secondary on receivers attempting to catch passes. Dawkins also became a fan favorite immediately after his arrival during the 2009 offseason.
The Broncos have made a few moves with personnel this offseason in the event that Dawkins retired. However, team sources indicated that they were saving his number for him in case he was to return. It’s likely that the player to replace him, former Cleveland Browns safety Mike Adams, will wear his #20 next season.
Dawkins will be sorely missed by the Broncos organization and his teammates. His many years of experience and ability to challenge and encourage is one of the intangibles he brought to the team. He was also known as a spiritual leader due to his devout Christian faith.
As a representative of Broncos fans everywhere, I would like to extend my gratitude and my best wishes for a happy, healthy and enjoyable retirement! You earned it!