Brent Celek still wants to play; now what?

So much for the thought of Brent Celek making this easy on the Eagles

On Tuesday afternoon, SiriusXM's Adam Caplan reported Celek still wants to play and then Celek responded to a text message from the Philadelphia Inquirer's Jeff McLane. He doesn't want to retire yet. 

This makes things tougher on the Birds, who were likely hoping the veteran tight end would be happy to walk off into the sunset as a Super Bowl champ. 

The problem here is that the 33-year-old tight end is still under contract with a cap number of $5 million. That's simply way too much money for a guy who was a third-string, blocking tight end in 2017. 

They simply can't afford to bring him back at that price and there won't be any sort of trade market out there for him, which leaves the Eagles with two choices. 

They can try to renegotiate Celek's contract if the veteran Eagle would be willing to take a significant pay cut. (That's not out of the question, especially after how much Celek has said it would mean to him to retire as an Eagle.) 

Or they can cut him and save $4 million in much-needed cap room. 

If feelings weren't involved, if this wasn't Celek we were talking about, the decision would be simple. Of course they should cut him, try to get younger backups and save the cap space. But this is the longest-tenured athlete in the city and he's spent 11 years here and has missed just one game. He, maybe more than anyone else, embodies what it means to be a Philadelphia Eagle. 

The money the Eagles need to save with his contract should probably be figured out pretty soon. The team needs to be under the salary cap by March 14 at 4 p.m. and they'd be about $11 million over if they had to start counting today. 

Sometimes the business side of football can be brutal. This might be one of those times, even with the Lombardi Trophy resting at the NovaCare Complex.