brian dawkins leaving eagles


The NFL has played host to a whole array of superstars who have left behind incredible legacies in their wake. When we witness one of these greats, they usually influence how we view the game.

Legends like Brady have NFL lines often being in the favor of his team. This can be said for more legends than just Brady though. While he is the most recent legend who comes to mind. There have been many others over the years.

Note that not every NFL legend has countless Super Bowl rings. Some legends of the NFL never actually win a Super Bowl, but they usually end up having a grand impact on their team, make magic happen, and improve their team greatly.

So, what about other legends? Brain Dawkins was one of these. To some he was just a safety, to others he was a walking, talking, football masterpiece.

His Move From The Eagles: Breaking Hearts

We can hardly talk about Brian Dawkins without discussing just how much the Eagles fans were crushed when Dawkins made his move to the Broncos. He had played with the Eagles for 13 seasons before he switched to the Broncos.

Like many legends he loved his team, he loved the fans, and loved the game, but as he came towards the end of his career, he decided to switch it up and finish his legacy with another team.

It’s not something new. We recently saw Brady do the same thing, after spending years with the Patriots, he gave his last two years to the Buccaneers. Joe Montana, Emmitt Smith, Jerry Rice, Brett Favre, and Johnny Unitas, they all did this too.

These Hall of Famers all gave the most part of their career to one franchise, but gave it just one last go with someone new. Dawkins did the same thing, although he broke a few Eagles fans’ hearts in the process.

Much like Brady, he gave his last 2 years of game to a new team. He played for the Eagles from 1996 until 2008, and played 2009 until 2011 with the Broncos.

However, he did not technically leave the Eagles for good, as he went back in 2016 and 2017 as an administrator, even though his career playing football was over.

A Safety

Dawkins may have been a safety, but he was anything but just a safety.

Throughout his career he made First-team All Pro four times, second-team All pro once, and the Pro Bowl nine times.

He made a total of 1,147 tackles, and 26 sacks. He fumbled 36 times, and made 19 recoveries, gained 27 interceptions and made 4 touchdowns over the course of his entire career as a player.

Throughout his career he gained quite the reputation for being a ball-hawking player and was the leader of the Eagles defense without any question. He was often referred to as ‘Weapon X’ such as the Marvel Wolverine character.

He was quick to come out as one of the top-rated safeties in the NFL, and was also the defensive captain for both teams he played for.

He was one of the best safeties in the history of the league and is ranked as being the 5th best ever.

He even made legacies as a captain and leader in the NFL. Acting as mentor to many of the players as they started their careers.

Time With The Eagles

Dawkins started his career with the Eagles, picked in the 2nd round of the 1996 draft, as the 61st pick. He was the 5th safety to be drafted that year.

The year he was picked he started training camp and started as a backup. He made his debut against the Redskins and made a tackle as they grabbed a victory. Only a week after did he get his first start and gained 11 tackles during a loss to the Packers.

In ‘97, Dawkins scored 8 tackles against the Vikings in the 5th week, but in December he recorded 7 tackles and an interception, as well as his first touchdown when they lost to the Giants.

In ‘98, he gained another 8 tackles, but finished the season with 55 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble, and 2 interceptions. By 1999 he gained a $1.27 million contract and made 73 tackles, 6 fumbles, 4 interceptions and a touchdown.

He continued this way throughout his career, tackling his way through each season, playing a strong game no matter what, and always putting his team first.

Time With The Broncos

However, nothing lasts forever and in February 2009 the Broncos signed him to a 5-year contract. The contract allowed him to opt out of the contract after 2 years and earn extra, which made the 2 years contract $9 in effect.

In his first year with the Broncos he gave them 16 starts, 116 tackles combined, 11 deflections, a forced fumble and 2 interceptions

In 2010, he gave them 66 tackles, 2 sacks and an interception. By 2011 he was sidelined for an injury, and while he got 51 tackles, he decided to retire while he was still healthy. We can’t blame him for that.

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