With the Eagles since 2006, Dorenbos was the longest-tenured player on the roster. He grew into a local icon over the past 11 years and became a national star as his magic got him to the finals of “America’s Got Talent”.
He appeared in a franchise-record 162 consecutive regular season games, tying wide receiver Harold Carmichael, and earned two Pro Bowl berths while in Philly.
“Jon is one of the most inspiring people I have ever known,” 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.”
Dorenbos’ father killed his mother when Dorenbos was 12. He turned to magic as a way to deal with the tragedy. He has shared his story openly, and moved into the realm of public speaking, to help those who are faced with a similar situation.
Dorenbos became one of the most recognizable faces of the franchise thanks to many efforts to connect with the fan base.
“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,” said Eagles executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman. “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.”
The Eagles had been carrying two long-snappers through training camp — Dorenbos and Rick Lovato, a second-year player out of Old Dominion. Lovato will take over the role that Dorenbos grabbed in ’06 and held onto for more than a decade.
“These are always hard decisions to make, especially with a player like Jon who has so much respect from the coaches, players and fans,” 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.”