PHILADELPHIA, April 28 (UPI) -- The Philadelphia Eagles eliminated any uncertainty regarding the future of Brian Dawkins by signing the three-time Pro Bowl safety to a seven-year contract on Monday.
Financial terms were not disclosed for Dawkins, who could have become an unrestricted free agent after the 2003 season.
Dawkins has been an Eagles since he was a second-round pick in 1996. He has played in three Pro Bowls since then, and is an integral part of the team's defensive scheme under coordinator Jim Johnson.
"I just know that both sides wanted to get this done," Dawkins said. "I know I really wanted to get it done, and from conversations, especially now, you can really tell that we wanted to get it done."
"If I am going to build a football team, Brian Dawkins is my free safety," Johnson said. "Brian can play strong safety, cornerback, and free safety, and not miss a beat. He has the toughness to play strong safety, and the cover ability as far as playing corner."
In 2002, Dawkins led the Eagles with career highs in tackles (131) and forced fumbles (seven), while registering three sacks and two interceptions. In a Week 4 matchup with the Houston Texans, Dawkins became the first player in NFL history to record a sack, an interception, a fumble recovery, and a TD reception in a single game
In 103 NFL games, Dawkins has 10 sacks, 63 quarterback hurries, 76 knockdowns, 18 forced fumbles, and 11 fumble recoveries. The 29-year-old has been to the Pro Bowl three of the last four seasons.
"I think he'll go down as one of the great Eagles' players, and we hope he'll certainly retire as an Eagle," said Philadelphia owner Jeffrey Lurie.