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Thu, 26 Apr 2012 03:26 AM EDT

The veteran safety Brian Dawkins called Denver Broncos coach John Fox to inform him that after a lot of prayer and reflection, he’d decided that sixteen seasons in the NFL was enough. Basketball betting lines

Acclaimed by his alter ego “Wolverine,” and for his passionate, energetic play for thirteen years in Philadelphia and 3 years in Denver, Dawkins was one of the best to ever play his position, and nobody played safety in the NFL longer than he probably did.

Dawkins, 38-year-old, declared he believed he had an extra year left in him after getting over a serious neck injury that sidelined him for the stretch run and playoffs last season. But he instead satisfied one final wish from his NFL bucket list: leaving the game he loves then was betrayed by a battered body or one too many trips around the sun. Baseball odds

“It’s probably going to sound crazy, but you know the point that I may play another year gave me a lot of peace to say that this is it,” Dawkins recounted.

Broncos’ supervisor John Elway said he wanted Dawkins to play in 2012 but never pressured him to come back.

“It’s always tricky to take that final step,” Elway said. “He’ll be missed. He did so many amazing things for the Broncos, not only on the field, but his leadership off the field was something that we’ll always be grateful for.”

He insisted his neck did not enter the equation, though. He revealed the nerve had regenerated and he was fine.

Dawkins stated that he wasn’t sure whether he’d sign a 1-day deal with his old team to ceremoniously retire from the team that drafted him in the 2nd round out of Clemson in 1996, but one thing’s for sure: He’s staying in Denver, where he hopes to help coach high school football in the fall.

Dawkins finished his career in Philadelphia in 2008 as the franchise’s leader in games played (183) and interceptions (34) while spearheading a defense that made the Eagles perennial championship contenders.

Dawkins was named to a several All-Pro teams and the NFL’s All-Decade team of the 2000s and he made 9 Pro Bowls, including last season as an alternate.

Dawkins completed his career with seventeen fumble recoveries, 26 sacks, 37 interceptions, 42 forced fumbles and 98 pass breakups. His 42 forced fumbles are the most ever by a defensive back in the NFL.

As a member of the NFLPA executive committee, Dawkins pushed for new league rules that limited full contact during camp and also in the regular season. He credited those adjustments in the 10-year labor deal reached last summer with keeping him fresh at the beginning of what turned out to be his final season, which he played a year since working through sprains to both knees.

“I simply hope that people will remember me as somebody that went out and gave everything that he could every week,” Dawkins declared. “Not just the weekend or the day of the game, but each week … and that my colleagues could count on me to be there all the time. Not some of the times, not most of the times.”

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