Trotter, 30, was told of the roster move Monday, Eagles Coach Andy Reid said.
"Jeremiah is one of my favorite guys," Reid said Tuesday. "… He and I met about this last night and it was very emotional for both of us. Jeremiah and I have been together for many years and he's played a vital role in helping this team win a lot of football games."
Trotter was third-round choice of Philadelphia in 1998 and led the team in tackles in 2001 and 2002, winning Pro Bowl selections each season. He played two seasons in Washington but returned to Philadelphia and again made the Pro Bowl in 2004 and 2005.
His middle linebacker slot is expected to be filled by Takeo Spikes, a two-time Pro Bowler who was acquired from Buffalo in a trade in March.