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Dorenbos Trade A 'Difficult' One For Team

Posted Aug 28, 2017

In the course of an Eagles career that started in 2006 and spanned 162 consecutive games until a wrist injury ended his 2016 season, Jon Dorenbos reinvented what a long snapper could be. He was more than that for the Eagles, as he established a nationally powerful personal brand and gave of himself to the organization in every way possible ...

In the course of an Eagles career that started in 2006 and spanned 162 consecutive games until a wrist injury ended his 2016 season, Jon Dorenbos reinvented what a long snapper could be. He was more than that for the Eagles, as he established a nationally powerful personal brand and gave of himself to the organization in every way possible. On Monday, we were once again reminded of the tough nature of business in the NFL.

Trading Dorenbos to New Orleans for a seventh-round pick in 2019 was certainly a difficult decision for the organization to make, but one that they hope will be the right move for the franchise moving forward. Certainly not in the same scope but with a similar set of circumstances with the trade of quarterback Sam Bradford to Minnesota last September, the Eagles did business with a team in need – in this case, the Saints, who have been playing musical chairs at the position since the start of Training Camp. The Eagles also got younger at a position that had a seamless transition in 2006 when Mike Bartrum’s career ended with a neck injury and Dorenbos was signed and stepped in to play the position brilliantly.

"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," Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie said. "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."

The hope for the Eagles is that Rick Lovato, who played three games at the end of 2016 when Dorenbos went on Injured Reserve, can slide in and the special teams unit won't miss a beat. Lovato snapped in games against Baltimore, New York, and Dallas and the Eagles clearly saw the ability he brought to the table, and at the same time asked him to improve in his protection game.

Lovato has had plenty of work in the preseason, alternating with Dorenbos. Nobody thought much of it at the time, not with the Eagles returning their kicking setup intact – placekicker Caleb Sturgis, punter Donnie Jones, and Dorenbos.

But Lovato did his job, even if nobody on the outside noticed. On the inside, special teams coordinator Dave Fipp and the coaching staff paid attention. In Lovato, they have a chance to, again, transition seamlessly at the position with a player who is 12-plus years younger than Dorenbos and, at this time, on his rookie contract.

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The difficult side of the business is trading Dorenbos, who is forever weaved into the fiber of the organization. No player did more for the team and the city outside the playing field during his career than Dorenbos. Nobody was more open and honest and real. Dorenbos created lifelong friendships. His story, from such a tragic event in his childhood, inspires everyone.

"We have the utmost respect for his consistency and his relentless commitment to winning over the last 11 seasons," said Howie Roseman. "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."

This is the Not For Long world, though, and Dorenbos outlived all expectations.

Now, his time in Philadelphia ends as the Eagles made a decision they think is best for the football team.

"These are always hard decisions to make, especially with a player like Jon who has so much respect from the coaches, players and fans," head coach Doug Pederson said. "On a personal level, it has been a pleasure to work with him and get to know him over the last few years. He’s as tough and reliable as they come. We appreciate everything he has done for this organization and in the community and at the same time we are excited for him to be able to continue his career with the Saints."

There isn’t a ton of time to get the coordination down with Jones, the holder, and Sturgis, but remember that the three of them had three weeks in the 2016 regular season to get on the same page and Sturgis made 7-of-8 field goals in that period of time, missing only a 49-yarder in the regular-season finale against Dallas.

Truth is, the Eagles have changed a lot on the roster in the last 12 months and they’ve built up impressive depth at certain positions. Who knew that long snapper would be one of those positions, that the Eagles had strength there that would ultimately attract the attention of a team that needed an immediate replacement for the season ahead?

Roseman just made the Eagles’ fifth trade since Training Camp opened. He’s been able to add a starting cornerback (Ronald Darby), a potential reserve nickel cornerback (Dexter McDougle), and three draft picks. Impressive stuff.

We’ve got a busy week ahead as teams pare their rosters from 90 players (the Eagles’ active roster currently stands at 85 not including cornerback Sidney Jones) to 53. As you’ve learned over the years, with reinforcements since late July when offensive lineman Allen Barbre was traded to Denver, anything and everything could happen.

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