The Magic Man is moving on.
On Monday night, the Eagles traded long snapper, fan favorite and longest-tenured Eagle Jon Dorenbos to New Orleans for a 2019 seventh-round pick.
Dorenbos, 37, had been with the Eagles since 2006, joining the team after Mike Bartrum suffered a career-ending neck injury with five games to go that season. During his long career with the Eagles, Dorenbos played in 162 consecutive games until a wrist injury ended his streak last season.
“Jon is one of the most inspiring people I have ever known," Eagles owner Jeff Lurie said in a statement released by the team. "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.”
The childhood adversity Lurie spoke of is a pretty well-documented story at this point. When Dorenbos was 12, tragedy struck when his mother Kathy was murdered by his father. Dorenbos immersed himself in magic and created a way to deal with the pain.
Eventually, that magic became an outlet for him to communicate with everyone — teammates, coaches, fans. Last season, he made an incredible run on the television show "America's Got Talent" and became even more of a fan favorite than he already was.
And he was already a pretty big fan favorite. Dorenbos, specifically toward the end of his time in Philly, became part showman, part long snapper, always happy to interact with fans, sign autographs, snap photos and light up any room he entered.
The Eagles had been carrying two long snappers for the entire offseason. The trade will save the Eagles $825,000 in salary cap space. With the move, Rick Lovato will likely take over for Dorenbos, who was as popular in the locker room as he was among the fan base.
Lovato, 24, was brought on late last season to replace Dorenbos after the wrist injury. He did a good enough job and will now take over in a similar fashion to the way Dorenbos once took over for Bartrum after Bartrum's 107-consecutive game streak. Dorenbos played the next 162 games. Lovato's consecutive game streak is at three.
The Saints have been in need of a steady long snapper all summer. They have had several different long snappers -- Justin Drescher, Thomas Gafford, Jesse Schmitt and Chase Dominguez -- throughout the offseason. The Saints needed some stability. And Dorenbos embodied that type of stability in his long run with the Eagles.
"We have the utmost respect for his consistency and his relentless commitment to winning over the last 11 seasons," Eagles vice president of football operations Howie Roseman said. "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.
"During this time of the year there are many difficult decisions to be made. We are pleased that an opportunity presented itself to allow Jon to continue his career with the Saints, and we wish him all the best. Even though he won’t be on the field with us this year, we hope that he will one day return to retire as an Eagle, and rejoin our organization in some capacity."
With Dorenbos gone, the Eagles' longest-tenured player is tight end Brent Celek, who arrived in Philadelphia as a part of the 2007 draft class, the year after Dorenbos joined the team.
Only five players have played in more games in an Eagles uniform than Dorenbos (162): David Akers (188), Brian Dawkins (183), Harold Carmichael (180), Chuck Bednarik (169), Tra Thomas (166). Dorenbos' 162 consecutive game streak tied Carmichael's franchise record. Dorenbos would have taken over the record but hurt his wrist and needed surgery late last season. In addition to the games streak, Dorenbos was named to the Pro Bowl in 2009 and 2014.
Dorenbos seemingly had connections throughout the locker room (see trade reaction), but was particularly close to punter Donnie Jones. The two became teammates when Jones joined the club in 2013, but have been friends since 2005, when they met on the red carpet at the CMT Music Awards in Nashville.
"These are always hard decisions to make, especially with a player like Jon who has so much respect from the coaches, players and fans," head coach Doug Pederson said in a statement. "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."