In a busy first few days of free agency, the Philadelphia Eagles have officially released center Jamaal Jackson, who was the longest-tenured member of the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles also cut ties with tackle Winston Justice, by trading him to the Indianpolis Colts.
The move will save the Eagles close to $2 million in cap space in both 2012 and 2013.
Jackson, 31, lost his starting job during the 2011 offseason to rookie sixth-round draft pick Jason Kelce. Many, including me, expected him to be traded last offseason and were surprised that he spent the year on the roster as the backup center.
His release should give him an opportunity to start somewhere else in the league, as just a little over two years ago (late in the 2009 season), quarterback Donovan McNabb called Jackson the most important member of the Eagles’ offense (and no, he didn’t mean DeSean Jackson).
During his nine seasons in Philadelphia, Jackson started 77 games, including the postseason. He earned the starting job at center after a battle with veteran Fraley in training camp in 2006. he made 71 consecutive starts before suffering an ACL tear late in the 2009 season. He returned but missed all but the season opener in 2010 with a torn biceps.
He helped the Eagles win a pair of division titles and earn postseason trips in 2006, 2008, 2009, and 2010. He was the last member on the team from the Super Bowl roster in 2004, although he wasn’t officially a member of the 53-man roster back then.
The longest-tenured members of the Philadelphia Eagles are now defensive tackle Mike Patterson (first round pick in 2005), offensive tackle Todd Herremans (fourth round pick in 2005), and defensive end Trent Cole (fifth round pick in 2005).