Dawkins made a huge impact in Denver

Brian Dawkins will be remembered as one of the few strong moves of the Josh McDaniels era in Denver.

Dawkins was signed by McDaniels on the first day of free agency in 2009. It was McDaniels’ first major move in Denver and it worked out well.

Just as he was in Philadelphia, Dawkins instantly became Denver’s spirited and vocal leader. He was the most respected player in Denver’s locker room for the past three years.

Monday, as expected, he announced his retirement. On the field, this move really won’t impact the Broncos. Dawkins is 38 and he had a serious neck injury last season. The Broncos didn’t expect him to be back.

When they brought him back for the 2011 season, the in-house thinking was that it would be for one more year. The Broncos drafted Rahim Moore and Quinton Carter last year and signed Mike Adams as a free agent this year. They could draft another safety in the mid-rounds this week.

The Broncos had moved on from Dawkins.

Still, he will be remembered for his impact and zeal he brought to Denver.

Dawkins will very likely end up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and he deserves to be inducted. Ultimately, Dawkins will be remembered for his special 13-year stay with the Eagles. But there is no doubt he made an impact in Denver.