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After just two seasons into his five year contract, the Eagles have decided to part ways with DT Cullen Jenkins on Monday. In 32 games with the Eagles he has registered 66 combined tackles, just 9.5 sacks and one forced fumble.
The 32 year old defensive lineman signed a five year deal worth about $25 million during the 2011 training camp following the lockout. The first two seasons were guaranteed and Jenkins was due a $1 roster bonus in March which is the reason for the decision now. The move saves the Eagles roughly $5.6 million in cap space. But the cap number isn’t the only reason behind the move.
The former Pro Bowl defensive lineman is on the wrong side of 30 and his production and skill set has been on the decline. With the Eagles moving to the 3-4 scheme and the emergence of rookie standout Fletcher Cox last season, the move seemed imminent. The move could mean the Eagles keep DT Mike Patterson who has a low cap number and has really never developed into a pass rusher but has shown to be solid against the run and move him into the five technique outside to defensive end and let Cox be the big nose tackle inside. And here is GM Howie Roseman’s statement on the decision.
“I had a chance to speak with Cullen today and let him know of our decision,” said Roseman. “It’s one of the most difficult parts of the job. 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. 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.”
He was a consistent player but he just wasn’t that much of a difference maker for the Eagles to justify keeping him as they go in a different direction. Jenkins should still get some interest on the open market since he is still a decent pass rusher and could fit in nicely as a role player on another squad. So yet another piece of the dream team goes out the door.