NFL: Philadelphia Eagles Reshape Roster for the New Era, Release 2 Vets

Vince QuinnCorrespondent IFebruary 25, 2013

PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 26:  Mike Patterson #98 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates after sacking  Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers during their game at Lincoln Financial Field on November 26, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

It was assumed that the Philadelphia Eagles would be reshaping the roster and making some moves prior to free agency. However, the emphasis seems to have been on the wrong guy.

Amidst rumors of Nnamdi Asomugha being told to take a pay cut or be released, it's being reported that the Eagles have released both Mike Patterson and Cullen Jenkins.

Mike Patterson, who was the Eagles' first-round draft pick in 2005, has been a quality starter since 2006. However, he is most likely a casualty of the new defensive system in addition to his salary cap hit. As a smaller, non-pass-rushing DT, Patterson is more equipped to fit in a 4-3 scheme and will likely be a target for the Chiefs.

For the Eagles, Patterson's release will relieve the team of just over $4 million in salary and will not have any dead money. He was under contract until 2016.

In regards to Cullen Jenkins, the move is purely financial. He is due $5.5 million this year and would make another $2.75 million next year. At age 32, it's clear that he wasn't a part of the team's long-term plans.

While the Eagles will have lost $1.5 million in dead money this year for Jenkins' release, they'll create another $4 million in cap space to put toward a new roster.

For a team in a rebuilding year, and yes, this is a rebuilding year, it's good for the Birds to clean house with veterans like these in order to get a true fresh start.

And speaking of fresh starts, the free-agent class for defensive linemen is limited. I expect that the Eagles will make an offer to a few cheaper veterans that would help transition the team, but nothing more. Their solution could be in Indianapolis if they can ignore the combine hype.

This year is considered to be a deep draft class for defensive linemen, and the Eagles could be looking to take one as early as the fourth overall pick. However, it's too soon to say the odds of that happening.