PHILADELPHIA — The magic’s gone from the Philadelphia Eagles’ locker room.
“His positive attitude is something that’s hard to find in a football locker room all year round,” safety Malcolm Jenkins said Tuesday. “Jon’s the guy who is constantly in a good mood, constantly joking around. He’s just a good friend and obviously a guy who is going to be missed.”
The Eagles acquired a 2018 seventh-round pick for Dorenbos, saving $825,000 in salary cap space in the process. Dorenbos played in 162 consecutive games after joining the team in 2006 until a wrist injury ended his season early last year. He went to the Pro Bowl twice and was beloved for his gregarious personality.
“Jon is one of the most inspiring people I have ever known,” owner Jeffrey Lurie said. “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 learned magic as a kid to help him cope with the tragic death of his mother, who was killed by his father. He entertained teammates with tricks and performed in front of large crowds for several years before enjoying a long run on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” last summer.
“He’s going to be really missed,” safety Chris Maragos said.
Rick Lovato, who replaced Dorenbos after he was injured in 2016, takes over as the new long snapper. It’s a position that requires anonymity because guys usually don’t get mentioned unless they screw up.
“I’m not trying to fill his shoes,” Lovato said. “There’s no taking anything away from him. I just want to do my job, keep my head down, not try to be noticeable.”
This was the second time this month the Eagles traded a player who is immensely popular in the locker room. Wide receiver Jordan Matthews, one of quarterback Carson Wentz’s closest friends, was sent to Buffalo on Aug. 11.
“It can definitely affect the team,” coach Doug Pederson said. “These guys, the two that were big, big guys in the locker room, around the players. Guys really respected them and liked them.
“And now they can influence another locker room, and they can take what they’ve learned here to another organization, another franchise. I wish both of those guys well.
“But it can affect guys, but it only affects you if you let it. That’s my job, not to let that happen.”
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