Login  |   Register
On Now
Coming Up
  • Tue., Feb. 28, 2017 12:00 AM MST Combine Timing and Testing The Combine begins in Indianapolis and runs through March 6.
  • Wed., Mar. 01, 2017 2:00 PM MST Deadline to designate Francise or Transition Players Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.
  • Tue., Mar. 07, 2017 12:00 AM MST Teams may negotiate with their own Unrestricted Free Agents

    During the period beginning at 12 noon, New York time, on March 7th and ending at 3:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 9th, clubs are permitted to contact, and enter into contract negotiations with the certified agents of players who will become Unrestricted Free Agents upon the expiration of their 2016 player contracts at 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 9. However, a contract cannot be executed with a new club until 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 9.

    During the above two-day negotiating period, no direct contact is permitted between a prospective unrestricted free agent and any employee or representative of a club, other than the player’s current club.

  • Thu., Mar. 09, 2017 12:00 AM MST 2017 League Year and Free Agency begin

    The 2017 League Year and Free Agency period begin at 4:00 p.m., New York time.

    The first day of the 2017 League Year will end at 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 9. Clubs will receive a personnel notice that will include all transactions submitted to the League office during the period between 4:00 p.m., New York time, and 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 9.

    Trading period for 2017 begins at 4:00 p.m., New York time, after expiration of all 2016 contracts.

  • Sun., Mar. 26, 2017 12:00 AM MDT Annual League Meeting Annual League Meeting, Phoenix, Arizona.
  • Mon., Apr. 03, 2017 12:00 AM MDT Clubs with new head coaches may begin offseason workouts Clubs that hired a new head coach after the end of the 2016 regular season may begin offseason workout programs.
  • Fri., Apr. 21, 2017 12:00 AM MDT Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign Offer Sheets Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign Offer Sheets.
  • Wed., Apr. 26, 2017 12:00 AM MDT Deadline for prior club to exercise Right of First Refusal to Restricted Free Agents. Deadline for prior club to exercise Right of First Refusal to Restricted Free Agents.
  • Thu., Apr. 27, 2017 12:00 AM MDT 2017 NFL Draft The 2017 NFL Draft begins in Philadelphia and runs through April 29.

Dawkins: 'You Have the Pen'

Posted Dec 13, 2011

Brian Dawkins spent his Tuesday evening speaking to a group of children from The Denver Children's Home, telling them they have the pen to write the story of their life.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Your start doesn't affect your finish.

That's the message Brian Dawkins spent Tuesday night getting across to 60 children from The Denver Children's Home.

The group visited Dove Valley for a meal and to spend some time with Dawkins, who welcomed the children to a place "not many people get a chance to see."

"To go into the weight room, to get a quick tour of this place, hopefully that in itself will give them a little inspiration, to see something outside of the places that they have known thus far," Dawkins said. "Hopefully it gives them a little more oomph, a little more hope to be able to achieve something a lot greater than what they think they can do right now."

As the children enjoyed a meal courtesy of Chick-Fil-A, Dawkins made his way around the room, greeting each and every child. He signed autographs, he took pictures, he shared some conversations and brought some big smiles.

The Denver Children's Home works with Colorado's most vulnerable children and families: those that struggle with the effects of poverty, abuse, neglect, exposure to violence and suffer from chronic mental health problems and learning disabilities related to these experiences.

Dawkins said his hope for the evening was to give the group encouragement, that even though it's not easy to look past their current situation, there's so much that they can accomplish in the future.

"The Lord has put this on my heart to look out for those who are struggling and are going through tough situations and tough times," Dawkins said. "I do a program with abused wife shelters, and I do this for the orphanages. It's just a way for me to hopefully inspire them to not allow their beginnings to affect the finish line. They may start off a certain place, and that certain place may be a turbulent place, a rough place, but there are so many success stories, including myself, that have come through different turbulent situations. It may not be as bad as theirs, but they can come out of the turbulence of their situation and become something that can bless a lot more than themselves in the future."

After the meal, the group headed into the indoor field in the Broncos weight room, where every child took their turn posing for a picture with the veteran Broncos safety.

Then Dawkins stood in front of the group and delivered a powerful message.

He told a story of growing up in Jacksonville, Fla., when two of his childhood friends made the wrong choices, and both ended up tragically passing away. He talked about how he was always told he wouldn't make it to the NFL, how he was too small, how his grades weren't good enough, how he didn't have what it takes.

But he persevered, and he didn't let the turbulence around him get him down -- he let it fuel him.

"Where I started, I had examples of what not to do. I really didn't have an example of what to do in my neighborhood," he said. "But what I did have is a drive and a desire to do something bigger than where I was. I wanted to do something stronger. I wanted to be somebody that people could look up to and say, 'Look at him, he's doing the right thing.'"

Dawkins had the goal of being an NFL player.

So he asked the children to close their eyes and think about whatever it is they want to be.

He told them that no matter where they come from, no matter what cards they have been dealt, they have the power to become exactly who they want to be.

"My beginning may be one thing. I may have started a certain place, but my beginning does not define who I can be," he said. "Your circumstances do not define what you can be. Your beginning is such a small part of who you are, and the beautiful thing about it, ladies and gentlemen, is that you have the pen in your hand to write what is going to happen in your life from now on.

"When you face obstacles, if you continue to keep your eye on that goal, regardless of how big that obstacle is, if you really want that goal, that obstacle won't mean anything," he continued. "All that obstacle will be is another thing to help you step over. Step on top of it to reach your goal."

At the end of the speech, the children asked Dawkins a few more questions -- some about football, some about life.

"There is someone that cares," Dawkins told the children. "I care. That's why I wanted to do this."

When he left the facility, Dawkins sent out a short message on his Twitter account.

"Wow, what a blessing those kids are!" he wrote. "Big smiles and small tears of joy. What a great combo."