In a trade that has caught just about everyone by surprise, the Philadelphia Eagles have traded veteran LS Jon Dorenbos to New Orleans in exchange for a seventh round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
On the cusp of entering his fifteenth season, Dorenbos arrived in Philadelphia back in 2006 and has become an inspirational player both on and off the field. With two Pro Bowl berths to his name and a franchise record 162 consecutive regular-season games, Dorenbos was one of the team’s most reliable players. A former honoree of the Ed Block Courage Award, Dorenbos was also named a nominee for the NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year Award last season.
Eagles Chairman/CEO Jeffery Lurie expressed the upmost gratitude and respect to the longtime Eagles long snapper in a press release following the trade.
“Jon is one of the most inspiring people I have ever known. He gave everything that he had to this organization for more than a decade, but his legacy in Philadelphia goes far beyond his performance on the field, his Pro Bowl selections or the consecutive games streak. His true impact is measured by the number of people in this city that he connected with, the lives he has been able to change and the courage he displays every day after battling such tremendous adversity as a child.
Jon’s enthusiasm and positive outlook are contagious; he’s one of the most genuine, caring people you could ever meet. I speak on behalf of the entire organization when I say we are incredibly proud to have called him an Eagle and our doors are always open to him in the future.”
For the man who pulled the trigger, this was no easy gun to fire. Howie Roseman opened up on how difficult it was to part ways with a man who meant so much to the team and the city.
“This was one of the most difficult decisions we have had to make as an organization, not only because of his stellar performance on the field for so many years, but also because of the relationships he has within the organization and the connection he has with our fans and the Philadelphia community.
We have the utmost respect for his consistency and his relentless commitment to winning over the last 11 seasons. We all remember adding him to the team in 2006 and winning six straight games to win the division and a playoff game. He is a genuine class act who has positively influenced the lives of so many through his community work and his motivational speaking.
During this time of the year there are many difficult decisions to be made. We are pleased that an opportunity presented itself to allow Jon to continue his career with the Saints, and we wish him all the best. Even though he won’t be on the field with us this year, we hope that he will one day return to retire as an Eagle, and rejoin our organization in some capacity.”
In his place, the Eagles will likely roll into 2017 with Rick Lovato as their starting long snapper. Lovato was signed to replace Jon Dorenbos who suffered a wrist injury against the Redskins last season and was kept around after Dorenbos returned. Snapping in all 50 games of his college career, Lovato was a UDFA in the 2015 draft and went on to see action with the Bears and Packers, taking some crucial snaps in both of Green Bay’s 2015 playoff campaign.
Not only is Lovato younger, but cheaper. Dorenbos is 37-years old in comparison to 24-year old Lovato and by trading their most poignant magic man to the Saints, the Eagles have saved roughly $1M in cap space…something that simply cannot be overlooked for a team in desperate need of some relief with such a hefty list of pending free agents.
For the Saints, a seventh round pick seems like fairly large capital for a veteran long snapper, but as things stand they’ve been experimenting with veteran tight end John Phillips at the position after the team cut two players at the position before training camp had even started. It was clear some experience was needed and for the Eagles, preparing to get younger by trading the oldest man on the roster for a unique return was an opportunity that was hard to turn down.
Dorenbos and his magical ways will no doubt be missed in Philadelphia. His story inspired many, his consistency was remarkable and his strength both on and off the field sent messages of hope across the nation as he pursued two lifelong dreams. New Orleans are getting an incredible man, there’s no doubting that. The Eagles meanwhile free up one more roster spot ahead of Saturday’s 4PM deadline and receive a draft pick along with some lifted cap weight.
It’s a strange feeling to know Jon Dorenbos won’t be long snapping in Midnight Green anymore, but all good things come to an end. Even things filled with magic.
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports