The Eagles followed up the news of Cullen Jenkins’ release yesterday afternoon by cutting fellow defensive tackle Mike Patterson. The move signals the beginning of the much anticipated reconstruction of the Eagles’ defense.
Such a reconstruction figured to take place along the defensive line where both Patterson and Jenkins were expensive aging veterans who are best suited in a traditional 4-3 scheme.
Unlike Jenkins, who was part of the failed 2011 free agent spending spree, Patterson was a homegrown product. The former USC standout was taken by the Eagles in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft.
While Patterson never made a Pro Bowl, he was a productive player who appeared in more games than any defensive tackle in franchise history.
Patterson, who has always been viewed as all class, released the following statement through the team.
“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. The Eagles organization has treated me and my family with nothing but respect since the day I was drafted, and I wish Mr. Lurie, Howie, the new coaches and all of my teammates all the best going forward. I will miss them all and I will always have a place in my heart for the Eagles and for the city of Philadelphia.”
Eagles general manager Howie Roseman, who saves the team a combined $8 million against the cap in 2013 by cutting the pair of veterans, talked about both moves on Monday.
“Coach Kelly and I each had great conversations with him today. He is a class act,” Roseman said regarding Patterson. “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.”
“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,” he said. “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.”