Eagles, Dawkins agree on two-year extension
Brian Dawkins agreed to a two-year contract extension with the Eagles on Sunday that could keep the five-time Pro Bowl safety in Philadelphia through the 2008 season.
"It's nice to get this out of the way and it's time to get the season going," Dawkins said before the Eagles played the Oakland Raiders in the Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio. "I'm looking forward to being here another two years. It's a good thing for me, absolutely, and for the organization."
Dawkins, who will turn 33 in October, was to earn $3 million in the final year of his contract this season. Terms of the new deal weren't immediately known.
Dawkins is the leader of a star-studded defense that played far below expectations last season. A second-round pick from Clemson in 1996, Dawkins has averaged 94 tackles per season, and his 28 interceptions are the fifth-highest total in team history.
He made his first trip to the Pro Bowl in 1999 and overcame a serious foot injury that sidelined him for nine games during the 2003 season.
"When the time is right and the Hall of Fame knocks on Brian's door, he will be recognized as one of those special players," Eagles president Joe Banner said. "He is as top quality a player as we've had since we started with this organization. He's a top-quality guy, he's loyal to the Eagles, he stands for everything we believe in. He has a great work ethic, he's a winner, he works in the community. Brian represents the Eagles perfectly."
Dawkins is the third player to sign an extension with the Eagles this summer, joining offensive linemen Shawn Andrews and Jamaal Jackson. Last year, the team refused to redo wide receiver Terrell Owens' contract one year into a seven-year, $48.97 million deal. Owens eventually was kicked off the team following a series of infractions, including repeated criticism of the organization and quarterback Donovan McNabb.
Dawkins made it clear in minicamps that he wanted to remain with the Eagles and wouldn't cause any problems.
"It means a lot. I started my career here, I made a great connection with these fans, something that not a lot of players can say," Dawkins said. "I have enjoyed my time here and I'm glad it has not ended yet."
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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