Dawk Has Left the Nest
By Todd Kunsman
Many Philadelphia Eagles fans are filled with emotions and opinions when it comes to their team’s decisions, but nothing seems to compare to the heartache and anger they are feeling about the departure of veteran safety Brian Dawkins.
Dawkins, who has played 13 seasons with the Eagles and has been the dominating force in the Eagles secondary, has signed a contract deal with the Denver Broncos. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Dawkins signed a five-year deal for $17 million.
Yet, what really angers the fans is that the loss of Dawkins should never have been an option. The Eagles were under the salary cap and had $48 million to spare and to negotiate with.
Instead, the Eagles organization was stubborn and would not budge to accommodate Dawkins. Denver, however, jumped at the opportunity to offer him a deal.
Paul Lindsey, a junior communications major commented, “I’m just very upset by the organization’s decision not to offer Dawkins a reasonable contract when he was the heart and soul of the Eagles defense.”
Brian Dawkins, a seven-time pro bowl safety, is adored by Eagles fans. In the Philadelphia Inquirer, staff writer Bob Brookover mentioned that not only are the fans having a tough time with this, but Dawkins was visibly upset that he was leaving the Eagles organization, as it has been his home for so long.
Christina Beri, a junior elementary education major and diehard Eagles fan said: “Dawkins was the heart and soul of the Eagles. I can’t even remember a time without him. He was an incredible person and player who will be missed.”
Dawkins’ talent and 2008 performance was clearly not a deciding factor in the Eagles organization’s choice to not offer a better deal. He played all 16 games, had three sacks, six forced fumbles, 75 tackles and an interception, according to The Morning Call. At 35, Dawkins shows no signs of slowing down.
The Eagles have made a mistake in letting Dawkins go and there is a void in the secondary that is going to be hard to fill. Dawkins’ leadership skills and pure athletic talent have made him unlike any other player on defense.
“I am still in shock that he left, and it hurts every time I think about it,” continued Beri. “The Eagles play Denver this coming season at the Linc, and watching that game and seeing Dawkins come out in a Denver jersey is going to be tough.”
No longer will # 20 be flying around the field in green during the upcoming 2009 season, but fans will continue to support Dawkins. He brought so much heart to the Eagles; it will be hard to forget his impact in Philadelphia.