Thursday, July 21, 2011

Is The Return Of Brian Dawkins A Possibility?


With the salary cap returning after a year hiatus, one thing will be certain. There are going to be quite a few cap casualties to add to the approx. 500 free agents in waiting.

Reggie Bush, Shawn Andrews, and Nate Clements are a few names that come to mind.

A few teams are currently over the reported $120 million limit (i.e.- Dallas Cowboys at $136 million). Other teams, such as the San Francisco 49ers with Clements $17 million cap figure for 2011, will reconsider the value of players under contract.

Out west in Mile High City, one of Philadelphia’s favorite Eagles of all-time could be a free agent soon.

Denver Bronco safety Brian Dawkins is scheduled to make $6 million this coming season. That’s pretty steep for someone turning 38 in a few months, especially when the Broncos current payroll is within $1 million of the reported salary cap.

The Broncos could rework Dawkins contract, but I doubt it will happen. In April’s draft, they drafted two safeties in the 2nd and 4th rounds. Also, Dawkins’ signing was during the Josh McDaniels era. New Vice President John Elway and head coach John Fox aren’t attached to the future Hall of Famer.

If Dawkins does hit the market, should the Eagles bring him back?? Of course they should and listed below are the reasons why….

1. Contract amount- When Dawk left Philly after the 2008 season, it was obviously for the money (5yrs; $17 million). It’s just as obvious that he won’t receive that type of offer again. Unfortunately, at this stage of his career combined with the other free agents in waiting, Dawkins won’t be as coveted. He’ll likely receive a 1yr (2yr tops) deal.

2. Veteran leadership- Anyone who knows about Brian Dawkins knows that he’s a fiery, emotional leader who motivates his teammates to “GIVE IT ALL YOU GOT!!” That’s one thing that’s lacking on the Eagles defense. Nate Allen is going into his second season. 2nd round pick Jaiquawn Jarrett doesn’t even know his jersey yet. The Eagles also might land 25 yr old Dominique Rogers-Cromartie once the lockout is ended. All of these guys could use the mentoring of Dawkins.

3. Most veterans end up returning to Philly- When the Eagles lose veterans via free agency, it’s always business. Most of the time, on a personal level, those same guys love Philadelphia and return as a player, coach or radio personality. As previously stated, Dawkins went to Denver for the money. After 13 seasons in midnight green, I believe he’s still an Eagle at heart.

Although Andy Reid has rearranged the Eagles roster for the “Young Gunz” to take over, veteran leadership is still necessary for a team’s success.

With Jarrett and Allen the future at safety, but they still need time to develop as a tandem. With Quintin Mikell likely wanting a 3-4 year deal, don’t expect him back in Philly.

Brian Dawkins would be the perfect stopgap solution. Not only would he help transition Allen and Jarrett into a starting tandem, he would be a coaching extension on the field to help Juan Castillo’s crash course transition to defensive coordinator.

The way free agency may possibly unfold when the lockout ends, don’t be surprised if you see No. 20 crawling out the tunnel in eight weeks.

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