Eagles release two veteran DTs
Graziano on Jenkins' release
Cullen Jenkins likely won't be the last member of the Eagles' 2011 "dream team" free-agent class to be released this offseason, Dan Graziano writes. Blog
Jenkins was part of the Eagles' free-agent spending spree in 2011 when he left the Green Bay Packers to join Philadelphia on a five-year, $25 million deal. The Eagles were labeled a "dream team" by then-backup quarterback Vince Young after the additions but stumbled to a disappointing 8-8 record that season.
Jenkins agreed to restructure his contract last offseason in order to stay with the Eagles. He was due to make $5.5 million this season.
The 29-year-old Patterson, who had brain surgery last year, is said to feel better than he has in three years and wants to continue playing, sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
The former 2005 first-round pick suffered a seizure at practice on Aug. 3, 2011, and was diagnosed with a brain AVM, or arteriovenous malformation, a prenatal condition in which blood travels abnormally between the arteries and veins.
He was the Eagles' longest tenured player.
"I want to thank the fans for all of their support over eight years in Philadelphia. It is never easy to say goodbye to a fan base that supported me no matter what. My goal was to come to work every day to try and make the Philadelphia Eagles the best organization we could be," Patterson said in a statement.
Nnamdi Asomugha, another member of the "dream team" free-agent class, has been asked to restructure his contract or he also will be released, league sources have told ESPN. The two sides met Friday in Indianapolis at the scouting combine.
Asomugha, 31, is scheduled to make $15 million, $4 million of which is guaranteed. A three-time Pro Bowler with the Raiders from 2003-10, Asomugha has been a major disappointment with the Eagles since signing a five-year, $60 million contract in 2011.
The 32-year-old Jenkins started all 32 games after signing with the Eagles and had 9.5 sacks in his two seasons for Philadelphia, including four last season. Jenkins, who spent his first seven NFL seasons in Green Bay, has 38.5 sacks in 125 career games.
"I had a chance to speak with Cullen today and let him know of our decision," Eagles general manager Howie Roseman said in a statement. "It's one of the most difficult parts of the job. He has been a very productive player in this league for a long time but we felt it in our team's best interests that we go in a different direction. By releasing him at this point, it gives he and his agent more time to sign on with another team. We wish Cullen and his family all the best as he continues his NFL career."
Roseman, meanwhile, credited Patterson for his toughness in the statement announcing his release.
"Mike Patterson is one of the toughest players I have ever been around in the National Football League," Roseman said. "He has overcome many obstacles throughout his career and I have the upmost respect for him because of it. Coach Kelly and I each had great conversations with him today. He is a class act. He gave this organization eight great seasons of hard work and dedication and we wish him all the best as he continues his career in this league."
Information from ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter and The Associated Press was used in this report.