Eagles Notes: Eagles bid goodbye to Justice, Jamaal Jackson

Posted: March 15, 2012

To no great surprise, the Eagles parted with Winston Justice and Jamaal Jackson, two of their veteran linemen who were squeezed out last season when Howard Mudd took over as offensive line coach.

Justice was traded to Indianapolis, and the Eagles (now second) and Colts (17th) exchanged sixth-round draft picks. While the Eagles were able to get something in return for a player they were probably going to release anyway, it was a dubious end for the team's 2006 second-round draft pick.

"I wasn't surprised," Justice said. "Last year both sides were unhappy, and I knew pretty much then that something was going to happen."

The Eagles cleared about $2.3 million in cap space for this season but will have to eat about $1.9 million of Justice's prorated salary.

Jackson, after nine seasons and 72 starts at center, was simply released. The Eagles will save approximately $1.9 million against the cap with his departure. Jackson was the longest-tenured Eagle and the last player from the 2005 Super Bowl team.

He arrived in 2003 as an undrafted free agent out of Delaware State but didn't earn a starting spot until midway through the 2005 season. He started 71 consecutive games until he tore his anterior cruciate ligament in 2009. He returned for the opener the following season but suffered a season-ending triceps injury.

He was beat out last summer by Jason Kelce, a rookie who embodied Mudd's preference for smaller, more athletic linemen. Jackson, 31, said he has more gas in the tank.

"I would hope so," Jackson said. "For a lineman at the position I play - center/guard - 31 isn't ancient."

Justice had a roller-coaster career here. He got off to a horrible start when the Giants' Osi Umenyiora abused him in his first career start at tackle. But he won the starting right tackle spot two seasons later and earned an extension in 2009.

However, by the end of the 2010 season he injured his knee and was benched in the playoffs. When he showed up at training camp last July his knee was still not healthy and he fell out of favor.

"I think we started out on the wrong foot," Justice said of Mudd.

Cole's extension

The Eagles officially announced a four-year contract extension for Trent Cole that lasts through the 2017 season.

The two-time Pro Bowl defensive end will earn $15 million in guaranteed salary and could make up to $53 million over the course of the deal if he a reaches a few escalators.

Cole, a fifth-round draft pick in 2005, signed a five-year extension in 2006 that eventually became a bargain deal for one of the league's best ends. He said he felt underpaid but kept his thoughts to himself until he approached the Eagles about a new deal this off-season.

"My time has come, and I knew my time was going to come," Cole said.

Extra points

 Defensive tackle Antonio Dixon signed his restricted free agent tender. Other teams can offer him a deal before April 20, but the Eagles have seven days to match or they'll receive a second-round draft pick in compensation. . . . The Eagles signed former Seattle offensive lineman Mike Gibson, the team's 2008 sixth-round pick, to a two-year deal.


Contact Jeff McLane at 215-854-4745, jmclane@phillynews.com or follow on Twitter @Jeff_McLane.

 

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