ATL: Dawkins a rare breed
"The Lord has blessed me to play in the NFL for 16 years," Dawkins said. "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."
Photo gallery: Brian Dawkins through the years
Dawkins battled neck injuries toward the end of the 2012 season and missed two of the Broncos' final three games of the regular season and the team's two playoff games.
"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," Broncos coach John Fox said in a statement released by the team. "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'm a little emotional right now," Dawkins told The Post shortly after announcing his retirement, adding that he needs some time before he can talk.