brent celek

Trey Burton feels 'hurt' by Eagles

Trey Burton feels 'hurt' by Eagles

Trey Burton will always be a hero in Philadelphia. He’ll always be the guy who helped pull off one of the most magical plays in Super Bowl history. He’ll always be the player who worked his way up from an undrafted rookie to a fan favorite. 

So it’s unfortunate he might be leaving Philadelphia with a slightly bad taste in his mouth. 

Burton, who has agreed to a four-year, $32 million deal with the Bears, a league source confirmed (see story), joined the WIP afternoon show on Tuesday and was asked about the conversations his agent had with the Eagles about possibly retaining him. 

Those conversations apparently didn’t get too far. 

“Nah, I was really disappointed, man, honestly,” Burton said. “If I’m going to be open and transparent, I was really disappointed there wasn’t any offer. Didn’t even seem like they were really trying to make it happen. In reality, you can make anything happen if you really want to. That was my mindset. I’m really disappointed in that. It kind of hurt me a little bit. 

“But I’m excited about where I’m going and where we’re heading. I think it’s a great fit for us. Really good days are on the horizon.”

In some ways, Burton is right. If the Eagles really wanted to retain him, they could have prioritized moving money around to fit him in. But Burton’s new deal with Chicago will pay him $8 million annually, making him the fifth-highest-paid tight end in the NFL. Well, the Eagles already have one guy above him on that list in Zach Ertz. And with Ertz and Brent Celek (who was released on Tuesday) also on the roster, Burton played just 27 percent of the Eagles’ offensive snaps in 2017. 

So it just wasn’t in the Eagles’ best interest to throw this kind of money at Burton. 

It’s unclear if the Eagles made a run at Burton during the 2017 season, but they did try to sign him during the 2016 season. Instead, the Eagles placed a second-round tender on him as an RFA to keep him in the building and push off his inevitable free agency. 

While Burton admitted he was hurt about the lack of attempt to re-sign him from the Eagles, he said he’ll always be an Eagle at heart and he made sure to thank the organization for giving him his start. Burton, who lives in the Tampa area, threw out the first pitch at the Phillies’ spring training game on Tuesday. 

“My agent and I thought it was a good idea,” Burton said. “Like a final farewell to Philadelphia. It was really cool.”

Eagles could target TE Martellus Bennett

Eagles could target TE Martellus Bennett

A sad day in Eagles history might become the catalyst for a joyful reunion between two brothers.

Following the release of Brent Celek (see story) and the impending departure of free agent Trey Burton (see story), the Eagles could potentially attempt to fill the void at tight end with Martellus Bennett.

Cut by the Patriots last week, Bennett is rumored to be interested in playing on the same team as sibling Michael Bennett, according to ESPN's Kirk Morrison. The Eagles acquired Michael in a trade with the Seahawks on March 7, with Martellus' release coming hours later.

Coincidence? Maybe not.

The Patriots reportedly made a trade offer for Michael Bennett as well, releasing Martellus only once the attempt fell through. It’s possible one or both of them were vocal about playing together.

The Eagles were certainly aware of their looming hole at tight end at the time of the trade. Celek had one year remaining on his contract but wasn’t expected back at the scheduled $5 million against the salary cap. With the club’s cap issues and a rabid market awaiting, retaining a younger, talented commodity like Burton was even less likely.

Zach Ertz remains the starting tight end after a Pro Bowl season, while Billy Brown will be a prospect to watch at training camp this summer. The Eagles could still use proven depth.

Bennett is an attractive option ... if the price is right. A Pro Bowler as recently as 2014, the 10-year veteran is a willing blocker with 433 career receptions for 4,573 yards and 30 touchdowns. Whereas Celek was used primarily as a blocker, and Burton was more often deployed as a receiver, Bennett possesses the versatility to fill both roles.

The Eagles must first do their due diligence on Bennett’s bizarre 2017 campaign.

Bennett was waived by the Packers in November for his supposed failure to disclose an injury. The 31-year-old was claimed by the Patriots the next day, appeared in two more games, then landed on injured reserve with shoulder and hamstring injuries.

Finishing with 30 receptions for 286 yards and zero touchdowns in nine games, it was Bennett’s worst season since becoming a starter in 2012.

A second-round draft pick by the Cowboys in 2008, Bennett also played for the Giants and Bears. He last played with his brother all the way back when they attended Texas A&M.

Though the Bennetts have not played on the same team in nearly a decade, the duo has joined forces for some notable interviews in the recent past and clearly have a strong relationship.

The Eagles aren’t going to sign Martellus simply because he has a bond with Michael. There is a need, however, so exploring the reunion even as a sign of good faith makes sense.

Eagles players get sentimental on loss of 'true brother' Brent Celek

Eagles players get sentimental on loss of 'true brother' Brent Celek

The Eagles made the tough decision to part ways with longtime tight end Brent Celek on Tuesday afternoon to help get the team under the salary cap.

The financially-motivated move was obviously a tough one for the organization. Celek was the longest-tenured athlete in the city having spent 11 seasons with the Birds and a model of toughness and what the Eagles organization wants in a player.

It's only fitting he went out with a parade.

The Eagles shared a heartfelt message about Celek's departure, noting that "Brent Celek defines what it means to be a Philadelphia Eagle."

Many of the players who battled alongside Celek in 2017 to win Super Bowl LII shared glowing thoughts about their now former teammate.

Chris Long called Celek a "Philly legend." Lane Johnson called him a friend, leader, champion, and "one of the best to ever do it." Beau Allen called Celek an "absolute grinder and true brother."

You can see some of these messages in full below. And remember: we'll always have Broad Street.

brothers for life love you bro bodyguard last one standing

A post shared by jasonpeters832 (@jasonpeters832) on