Found April 23, 2012 on BroncoTalk:

AP Photo/Jack Dempsey

Denver Broncos safety Brian Dawkins announced his retirement from the NFL Monday morning. A player of his professional caliber does not leave the league unnoticed, but a person of his character retiring leaves the NFL wanting all the more.

The Broncos and coach John Fox released a statement Monday morning following the news that safety Brian Dawkins has decided to retire. That statement is below; check after the jump for reactions around the National Football League and the Twitterverse.

“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.

“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.” 

Now some reactions from around the NFL:

Broncos Executive John Elway:

Thank you, @BrianDawkins, for being a GREAT Bronco and showing such an incredible commitment to your team and community….

— John Elway (@johnelway) April 23, 2012

Congratulations on a Hall of Fame career, Dawk!!!

— John Elway (@johnelway) April 23, 2012

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell:

Congrats @BrianDawkins on a successful 16-year career. Great player, great family. More importantly, great man in community & locker room

— Roger Goodell (@nflcommish) April 23, 2012

NFLPA Executive George Atallah:

Congratulations on a truly great career to Brian Dawkins. To play that well for that long at his position is a remarkable achievement

— George Atallah (@GeorgeAtallah) April 23, 2012

Broncos DE Robert Ayers:

Congrats to Brian Dawkins for the long illustrious career.. Great player but an even better man #HallOfFAME

— Robert Ayers Jr (@1_900_ayersjr) April 23, 2012

Veteran NFL and Cardinals kicker Jay Feely:

@BrianDawkins is one of the best players and greatest leaders this game has ever seen. Well done Brian, it’s an honor to be your friend

— Jay Feely (@jayfeely) April 23, 2012

NFL great Jerry Rice:

Congrats to @BrianDawkins on a great @NFL career!!

— Jerry Rice (@JerryRice) April 23, 2012’s Jeff Darlington

Funny text from a Broncos guy on Dawkins: “Can’t say enough great things. A class act. Not to mention, 2% body fat at age 40. Ridiculous.”

— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) April 23, 2012

We at BroncoTalk echo all of these sentiments and add our own. Thanks for finishing your excellent career in orange and blue, Brian Dawkins! It was an absolute treat watching you play, and there was always something electric about watching you take the football field.

Brian Dawkins

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images


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