It is official. The Eagles have lost their emotional leader and one of the franchise's all-time greats.
Brian Dawkins is departing for Denver.
Dawkins signed a five-year deal Saturday, a $17 million deal, with the Broncos.
He is leaving the Eagles after spending his entire 13 year career with the team.
Just last week, Eagles coach Andy Reid made it seem like a deal with Dawkins would be in place before the free agent signing period started.
Reid had this to say about the Eagle leader:
“Brian is one of the best players in franchise history and one of the most popular players to ever play in the city of Philadelphia. The Eagles organization, as well as the entire fan base, will miss him not only as a player, but as a tremendous person. This is the toughest part of my job, no question. He gave this city 13 years of emotional, energetic football. We wish Brian and his family nothing but the best as he continues his career in Denver.”
Eagles Chariman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie expressed his fond memories of Dawkins as not only a talented player, but a man of great character.
“Brian Dawkins has been one of the pillars of this franchise for 13 years. He helped lead us to five NFC Championship games and one Super Bowl. Brian embodies everything you look for in a professional athlete and human being. I have been fortunate to witness his impeccable character, his passion for the game of football and his commitment to being the best player he could be. I look forward to continuing a close relationship with him once his playing days are over. His legacy as an Eagle will last forever and will ultimately land him in Canton as a Hall of Famer,” Lurie said.
The Eagles reportedly offered Dawkins a 2-year contract worth $5 million.--That was not good enough.
So, what are the fans saying? Some are not thrilled about the move—They think the team may even fall apart.
“Well, we might as well take old Willy Penn and stick him on our field now. WHY, EAGLES, WHY?” NBCPhiladelphia.com reader D posted.
Others, like Joanne aren’t happy with Andy Reid.
“Andy, wake up. Brian Dawkins belongs in Philly. He is and should remain an EAGLE.”
And others claim they won’t be going to the games next season.
“I'm off the waiting list for tix,” Starks said.
The Eagles have lost four players in the first two days of the free agent signing period.
Brian Dawkins, Correll Buckhalter and Sean Considine have signed with other teams.
Lito Sheppard was traded to the Jets.
LJ Smith could be next. He's expected to join the Falcons.