Dawkins played his first 13 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles and the last three with the Denver Broncos. He appeared in 14 games last season but missed Denver's playoff games because of a neck injury.
"The Lord has blessed me to play in the NFL for 16 years," Dawkins wrote on his Twitter account. "I would like to thank the Eagles & the Broncos 4 believing In me. I would like 2 thank all my teammates & Coaches that I have been blessed 2 go to battle with. Along with u, the fans 4 helping make my career 1 that i have enjoyed tremendously. In other words. I am announcing my retirement from the NFL."
Dawkins, 38, was a second-round pick by Philadelphia in the 1996 draft. He had 37 interceptions, 624 tackles and 26 sacks in his career. He was selected to the Pro Bowl nine times, first 1999 and most recently last season. Dawkins was a member of the Eagles' 75th anniversary team and was voted to the NFL 2000s all-decade team.