Philadelphia Eagles Cut Veteran Defensive Tackles Cullen Jenkins, Mike Patterson

Bryn Swartz@eaglescentralSenior Writer IIIFebruary 25, 2013

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 30: Quarterback Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys is sacked by Trent Cole #58 of the Philadelphia Eagles as teammates Mike Patterson #98 and Cullen Jenkins #97 look on during a game at Lincoln Financial Field on October 30, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles defeated the Cowboys 34-7. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Eagles made a pair of offseason moves to benefit the salary cap, releasing veteran defensive tackles Cullen Jenkins and Mike Patterson (via

Jenkins, 32, was scheduled to receive $5.5 million in 2013. One of the original Dream Team signings before the 2011 season, Jenkins has been a solid yet slightly disappointing player during his two years in Philly. He had signed a five-year, $25 million deal in July 2011.

He's been one of the team's big leaders on and off the field, bringing a Super Bowl ring from Green Bay, but he had just four sacks and 26 tackles in 2012 after collecting 5.5 sacks and 40 tackles the previous year. 

ESPN NFC East blogger Dan Graziano speculates that Jenkins could head to the Dallas Cowboys or New York Giants to finish out his career.

The Eagles' other salary-cap casualty, Patterson, 29, missed most of 2012 after complications from offseason brain surgery and later pneumonia. He had been scheduled to receive $4.064 million in 2013.

He was the team's first-round draft pick in 2005 and had been the longest-tenured member of the team, playing in 115 games over eight seasons. Now the honor is shared by offensive tackle Todd Herremans and defensive end Trent Cole, both 2005 draft class members.

Patterson could still play in a 3-4 if necessary, but he wouldn't be the ideal nose tackle because he weighs only 300 pounds. 

The Eagles will definitely be looking at defensive linemen in this year's draft. It's possible that they select defensive tackle Star Lotulelei with the fourth overall pick, although that's less likely now that Star has been discovered to have a heart condition.

The current defensive tackles on the Eagles roster include last year's first-round draft pick, Fletcher Cox, Antonio Dixon and Cedric Thornton, while the defensive ends include Trent Cole, Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry and Phillip Hunt.