The Eagles have made their second significant veteran cut of the day, releasing DT Mike Patterson. This comes on the heels of the news that the Eagles cut ties with DT Cullen Jenkins. Until today, Patterson was the team's longest tenured player.
"Mike Patterson is one of the toughest players I have ever been around in the National Football League," said Eagles general manager Howie Roseman. "He has overcome many obstacles throughout his career and I have the upmost respect for him because of it. Coach Kelly and I each had great conversations with him today. He is a class act. He gave this organization eight great seasons of hard work and dedication and we wish him all the best as he continues his career in this league."
Patterson was the Eagles first round pick (31st overall) in the 2005 draft and would go on to start 99 games for the club. Over 8 seasons he racked up 338 total tackes and 14 sacks. Patterson never made a Pro Bowl and certainly was never an elite player, but by all measures he has to be seen as a successful draft pick.
"I want to thank the fans for all of their support over eight years in Philadelphia. It is never easy to say good bye to a fan base that supported me no matter what. My goal was to come to work every day to try and make the Philadelphia Eagles the best organization we could be," Patterson said. "The Eagles organization has treated me and my family with nothing but respect since the day I was drafted and I wish Mr. (Jeffrey) Lurie, Howie (Roseman), the new coaches and all of my teammates all the best going forward. I will miss them all and I will always have a place in my heart for the Eagles and for the city of Philadelphia."
What Patterson may be most known for was the scary scene prior to the 2011 season when collapsed in training camp and suffered a seizure. It was later found that he had a rare, but serious condition called an AVM on his brain. He would go on to start 15 games in the 2011 season, but underwent surgery after the year to remove the AVM. The effects from that surgery limited him to just 5 games last season and no starts.
He had 4 years left on his deal and was set to count just over $4 million against the cap. He had no bonus money left, so the Eagles get that full savings by releasing him. Patterson was set to turn 30 this September.
Much like the Jenkins move, this was another signal that a rebuilding team is no place for an older, higher paid vet with no guaranteed money left on his deal. Plus, there were certainly serious questions as to whether Patterson really had a position in a 3-4 alignment.
All that aside, Patterson was really one of the good guys on this team and was a solid contributor for a long time. I have no doubt that he'll find another team and I think all Eagles fans will join me in wishing him the best.
No Mike Patterson goodbye would be complete without some video of his franchise record 98 yard fumble return for a TD against the 49ers in 2006.