The Eagles traded long snapper Jon Dorenbos to the New Orleans Saints on Monday night for a 2019 seventh-round pick, parting ways with their longest-tenured player and one of the organization’s most popular figures. They will now turn to Rick Lovato as their long snapper.
Dorenbos, 37, signed with the Eagles late in the 2006 season. He twice went to the Pro Bowl and tied Harold Carmichael for the franchise record with 162 consecutive games played. It’s the sixth-most games played in franchise history. He also became a fan favorite off the field, popular for his magic tricks and inspirational story to reach the NFL. Dorenbos won the Eagles’ Ed Block Courage Award in 2008 and was nominated for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in 2016.
“Jon is one of the most inspiring people I have ever known,” Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said in a statement. “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. 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.”
By trading Dorenbos, the Eagles opened $825,000 in salary cap space. They signed him to a three-year, $3.4 million contract extension last season, although he was replaced by Lovato after an injury sidelined him for the final three games. Lovato, 24, has played in seven career NFL games for three teams. The Eagles are now trusting him as their long snapper. He follows Dorenbos and Mike Bartrum, who also played more than 100 games for the Eagles. Dorenbos replaced Bartrum midseason because of an injury and eventually secured the job, too, so Dorenbos is losing his job in a similar way to how he earned it.
Dorenbos transcended the Philadelphia sports scene last year when he appeared on “America’s Got Talent.” At age 12, Dorenbos’ father, Alan, killed his mother during a dispute in their home. Alan Dorenbos was convicted of second-degree murder and went to prison for 11 years. Dorenbos was sent to foster care, and he’s shared his story as an inspirational speaker.
During the Eagles’ open practices when special-teams players weren’t on the field, Dorenbos could often be seen interacting with fans. After he signed his contract extension last year, Dorenbos spoke affectionately about his relationship with Philadelphia fans and learning “what the Eagles’ logo means to a lot of people.” He will now wear the Saints logo, leaving Philadelphia after 11 years.
“This was one of the most difficult decisions we have had to make as an organization, not only because of his stellar performance on the field for so many years, but also because of the relationships he has within the organization and the connection he has with our fans and the Philadelphia community,” Eagles executive Howie Roseman said in a statement. “We have the utmost respect for his consistency and his relentless commitment to winning over the last 11 seasons. 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.”