Denver Broncos safety Brian Dawkins (20) blocks Oakland Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer during the fourth quarter of their NFL football game in Oakland, California, November 6, 2011. REUTERS/Beck Diefenbach
Despite Mike Klis’ report that Brian Dawkins is “expected to retire,” it appears that Dawkins would like to return in 2012. Per Ray Didinger of CSNPhilly.com, Dawkins wants to play a seventeenth season in the NFL.
Brian Dawkins is not yet ready to call it a career.
Despite missing all or parts of five games last season with a neck injury, Dawkins says he feels good now and hopes to return for another season with the Denver Broncos.
Interestingly, Dawkins said that the ball is in the Broncos’ court. If the team does not release him, he will return. If Denver parts ways with the 38-year-old safety, Dawkins will not re-sign with another team, not even the Philadelphia Eagles.
“If Denver decides they want to move on, I respect that,” Dawkins told Didinger. “That will be it. I know what my body feels like and right now it feels good.”
Dawkins spent the first thirteen years of his career in Philadelphia before joining the Broncos in 2009. Since 2001 (when tackles were first recorded in the stat sheets), Dawkins has recorded 778 tackles, 20.5 sacks, 21 interceptions and 28 forced fumbles.
Last off-season, Dawkins accepted a $4 million dollar pay cut to stay in Denver and started in all by four games, missing time due to injury. The injury, Dawkins says, is not as bad as it may sound.
“It is not what people think, though,” Dawkins said. “People hear ‘neck injury’ and they think it’s the spine. This is a nerve. It’s here (the shoulder). It is like what I had before (as an Eagle) except that was on the other side… [But now] I have gotten my strength back.”
Here’s to hoping Dawkins makes a decision that will not negatively affect his health. Dawkins is a class act and the Broncos would benefit from his presence on the field and in the locker room this season. Retire or return, Dawkins will always be respected by the BT Staff and all of Broncos Country!