Eagles coach Chip Kelly and general manager Howie Roseman continued their rebuilding project on Monday by releasing defensive tackles Cullen Jenkins and Mike Patterson.
"Thank you Eagles for everything the last 2 years," Jenkins said via Twitter Monday. "Thank you fans. Sorry we didn't accomplish anything but I thank you all. Best wishes."
Jenkins, 32, originally signed a five-year contract as a free agent prior to the 2011 season, but played just two years in Philadelphia. He collected 112 tackles, nine and a half sacks, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble while starting all 32 games for the Eagles.
Jenkins had already restructured in contract last season - he reduced his base salary from $2.75 million to $820,000 - and was unlikely to do so again. He was due to receive $4.5 million in base salary next season and a $1 million roster bonus.
"I had a chance to speak with Cullen today and let him know of our decision," Roseman said Monday in a statement. "It’s one of the most difficult parts of the job. He has been a very productive player in this league for a long time but we felt it in our team’s best interests that we go in a different direction.
"By releasing him at this point, it gives he and his agent more time to sign on with another team. We wish Cullen and his family all the best as he continues his NFL career."
Patterson was cut later Monday, thus ending his eight-year stint with the Eagles.
His exit leaves defensive end Trent Cole and tackle Todd Herremans as the longest-tenured Eagles. Like Patterson, they were drafted in 2005.
Once known for his durability and toughness, Patterson missed most of the 2012 season while recovering from offseason brain surgery and then a case of viral pneumonia.
"Mike Patterson is one of the toughest players I have ever been around in the National Football League," Roseman said in a statement. "He has overcome many obstacles throughout his career and I have the utmost respect for him because of it. He's a class act."
Jenkins' and Patterson's departures leave Fletcher Cox, Antonio Dixon and Cedric Thornton as the only defensive tackles under contract. Derek Landri is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on March 12 and likely will not be re-signed.