Brent Celek nominated for Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award

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Brent Celek nominated for Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award

Brent Celek doesn't complain. 

The 32-year-old tight end and longest-tenured member of the Eagles used to put up numbers. He used to be a receiving tight end and nearly had a 1,000-yard season back in 2009. 

But as Celek has aged and after Zach Ertz was brought in, his role has changed greatly. He has become a backup and a blocker. And his attitude hasn't changed one bit. 

That's exactly why he has been named the Eagles' nominee for the 2017 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award. All 32 teams nominate a player. The award, which recognizes players who "exemplify outstanding sportsmanship on the field," will be handed out on Feb. 3. 

"He's a team player, ultimate Philly guy," tight ends coach Justin Peelle said last week. "Brent's the best. Ever since Zach got here, he's welcomed him with open arms, he's taken him under his wing and has shown him little things here and there. It's never been a competition. Brent's whole thing is he just wants to win. Brent understands that it takes all 53 guys to win. Brent has been a really good role model for Zach and Trey so that's just who Brent it. He's the ultimate team guy and that's what you love on him."

This is the fourth year for the award, named after the late owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Frank Gore (2016), Charles Woodson (2015) and Larry Fitzgerald (2014) have won before. The Eagles nominated Darren Sproles last season. 

Coming into the Denver game, Celek had just four catches for 33 yards on the season. Against the Broncos, with Ertz out, Celek caught three passes for 39 yards. 

After the game, Celek admitted it felt "great" to be involved in the passing game, even if it was just for one week (see story).

Celek still has some ability as a pass-catcher, as he proved against Denver, but he's not going to take opportunities away from Ertz, who has been the most productive receiving tight end in the NFL this season. 

And Celek probably won't take away many opportunities from Trey Burton, who has also proven to be a viable option in the passing game. 

But Celek doesn't complain and his attitude has rubbed off on all of the tight ends. 

"I think that whole room has that mindset of it's all about the team," Peelle said. "There's no individual. Whatever the tight ends can do to help the team win, that's what they're going to do. They all buy into that and they all believe that. That's the great thing about coaching those guys."

Forget empty Day 2 of draft, Eagles hoping to find gold in Day 3

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Forget empty Day 2 of draft, Eagles hoping to find gold in Day 3

The Eagles are scheduled to have a pretty boring Day 2 of the draft this year. Because after they pick at No. 32, they don’t have another selection until the 31st pick of the fourth round. 

That means 98 players will be taken between the Eagles’ first and second picks. And they’ll have to watch other teams pick that entire Friday (Rounds 2-3) without them … unless they make a move. 

“We’re not looking at it like we’re sitting out on Friday,” Eagles de facto GM Howie Roseman said. “We’re going through our draft process looking at every scenario. When we get to Friday, we get to Friday.” 

Even if the Eagles don’t make a move, they’ll be plenty busy Saturday, the final day of the draft. They have two fourth-round picks and one pick in the fifth, sixth and seventh rounds. 

Eagles personnel head Joe Douglas showed up to his media availability with a stat ready to go to illustrate the importance of Day 3. 

“We’re excited that we have five picks on Saturday,” Douglas said. “When you look at the Super Bowl, there’s 22 starters that were third-round picks or lower. Of those 22, 18 of them were fourth-round picks or lower. So 18 starters in the Super Bowl this year were fourth-round picks or lower, including six of them that were undrafted free agents. We choose to keep the glass half full.” 

Douglas is right on all those stats — 22 of 44 starters in the Super Bowl were drafted in the third or lower and 18 of them would be considered Day 3 picks. Not bad. 

Here’s how the Super Bowl starters broke down by round: 1-10, 2-12, 3-4, 4-4, 5-3, 6-3, 7-2, UDFA-6. 

The Eagles accounted for seven of the 18 players who were drafted in the fourth round or later, so the Patriots were the ones who found even more value late in drafts. And of those seven, just three were original Eagles — Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Jason Kelce and Jalen Mills. 

Of the six undrafted players who started in the Super Bowl, two were from the Eagles — LeGarrette Blount and Rodney McLeod. Neither was an original Eagle, but the Birds also relied heavily on running back Corey Clement, who was an undrafted rookie last season. 

With a dearth of high draft picks, it would make sense if the Eagles attack the undrafted market following the draft, but Douglas thinks it won’t be as easy as many might think. 

“You would think because we’re coming off a Super Bowl, we don’t have a second or third round pick that it would be a lot easier after the draft,” Douglas said. “But my experience coming off a Super Bowl, it’s sometimes harder to get guys to commit to your roster because agents and players have a perceived notion that it’s going to be that much tougher to make the team. I think that’s going to be a challenge. I think that’s going to be a challenge for us and we know it and we’re going to attack it.”

The Eagles in recent years have shown a willingness to pony up significant money to entice undrafted players to sign with them, and if Douglas is right, they might need to do it again to land some this year. 

Either way, the Eagles know how important Day 3 and beyond can be. So when they’re bored on Day 2, they don’t plan on losing focus. 

Eagles reward Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles with reworked contract

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Eagles reward Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles with reworked contract

The Eagles gave Nick Foles a little raise on Friday, reworking the Super Bowl MVP’s contract, a league source confirmed. 

Basically, the Eagles are rewarding Foles after he helped the franchise win its first-ever Super Bowl a few months ago. 

Foles, 29, is still entering the final year of his contract with the Eagles, but the new deal also includes a mutual option for the 2019 season, a source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia. The mutual option will still allow Foles the possibility to test the free agent market next season, but could leave the door open to a possible return beyond this upcoming season. 

Mike Garafolo and Ian Rapoport from NFL Network first reported the revised contract, which includes a $2 million signing bonus and “several millions in incentives if he’s the starter and hits various benchmarks,” according to Rapoport. 

That part makes a ton of sense. If for some reason Carson Wentz isn’t ready to play in 2018 or if he goes down again, Foles will have a chance to earn what might be closer to starter money. 

Foles was set to earn a base salary of $4 million in 2018, with a salary cap hit of $7.6 million on the contract before Friday’s renegotiation. 

Wentz and Foles grew very close last season — third-string QB Nate Sudfeld too — and have both been very selfless in a situation that would be awkward for many others in the league. But both have been incredibly selfless throughout the entire process. Just this week, Wentz admitted he had to fight jealousy but was truly happy for his teammate and friend, who became the Super Bowl hero (see story)

Earlier on Friday, Foles tweeted out this photo with his wife and daughter from the NovaCare Complex. That’s a $2 million smile.