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.
), 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.