The Philadelphia Eagles have released veteran defensive tackles Cullen Jenkins and Mike Patterson.
Jenkins signed a five-year, $30 million contract with the Eagles in 2011 and started every game the past two seasons. He was due to make $5.5 million this season, but rebuilding Philadelphia cut the 32-year-old Jenkins on Monday.
After spending the first seven seasons of his NFL career with Green Bay, Jenkins left for Philadelphia. He had 5 1/2 sacks in 2011 and four in 2012.
”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,” GM Howie Roseman said of Jenkins. ”By releasing him at this point, it gives he and his agent more time to sign on with another team.”
Patterson, the team’s longest-tenured player, spent eight seasons with the Eagles. A first-round draft pick in 2005 out of Southern California, the 29-year-old Patterson played in 115 games with 99 starts. He made 551 tackles, 16 1/2 sacks, had four forced fumbles and seven fumble recoveries.
Most memorable was the Eagles’ longest fumble return for a touchdown, a 98-yarder at San Francisco in 2006.
”It is never easy to say goodbye to a fan base that supported me no matter what,” Patterson said. ”My goal was to come to work every day to try and make the Philadelphia Eagles the best organization we could be."
Patterson underwent brain surgery in January 2012 but returned to the Eagles for five games last season. He was diagnosed with a brain malformation in August 2012 after suffering a seizure during a training camp practice.
”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 utmost respect for him because of it.”