Longtime Eagle Brent Celek released

Longtime Eagle Brent Celek released

We all knew this was coming. Everyone braced for it. It doesn’t make it any easier. 

The Eagles cut Brent Celek on Tuesday. 

Celek, 33, was entering the final year of his contract and was set to have a salary cap hit of $5 million in 2018. Cutting the longest-tenured athlete in the City of Philadelphia will save the Eagles $4 million in much-needed cap space. After restructuring Lane Johnson’s contract earlier in the day, this move will make the Eagles cap compliant before free agency starts on Wednesday. 

But, man, this is a tough one. 

For 11 seasons, Celek embodied everything it meant to be an Eagle (see story). He missed just one game in those 11 seasons and it came way back in 2012, when a concussion forced him to miss a game on a short week. 

He began his career as a serious threat through the air, but after the Eagles drafted Zach Ertz, Celek graciously became a second and then a third option as a TE in the pass game. He happily put aside his own statistics for the good of the team and never complained. Instead, he helped Ertz grow into the player he’s become. 

“Brent Celek defines what it means to be a Philadelphia Eagle,” the team said in a statement.” His dedication to his profession and this organization is unmatched and he will go down as one of the best tight ends in franchise history. Brent embodied the City of Philadelphia’s temperament and character with his toughness and grit. He has been a huge part of everything we have been building over the last decade and it is only fitting that he was able to help us win our first Super Bowl last season. 

“Unfortunately, in this business we are forced to make difficult decisions, especially this time of the year. This one is as tough as they come, but in our eyes, Brent will always be an Eagle.” 

The Eagles drafted Celek in the fifth round of the 2007 draft out of Cincinnati. During his career with the Eagles, he piled up 398 catches for 4,998 yards and 31 touchdowns. His 175 games played is behind just David Akers (188), Brian Dawkins (183) and Harold Carmichael (180). 

During the Super Bowl parade last month, Celek fittingly wore a No. 17 Carmichael jersey. He understood the importance of Eagles history, perhaps without fully grasping how big a part of it he had become. 

With Celek’s departure, Claude Giroux is now the longest-tenured athlete in the city and 36-year-old Jason Peters is the longest-tenured Eagle. After Jon Dorenbos was traded and then forced to retire, Celek owned the distinction for just one season. It seemed fitting it came in the year the Eagles won their first Super Bowl. 

In the moments after the confetti rained, Celek wore a Super Bowl champions T-shirt over his bulky shoulder pads. He could think of just one thing: getting back to the fans he embodied for 11 years. 

"I'm so excited for my team, this organization, but man, I'm so excited for these fans," he said. "I can't wait to get back to them and party." 

Eagles Mailbag: Biggest concern on 2018 roster

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Eagles Mailbag: Biggest concern on 2018 roster

We’ve officially reached the only sort of dead period on the NFL calendar. The Eagles are through their spring practices and won’t be back at the NovaCare Complex until July 25 for the start of training camp. 

That sounds far away, but it’ll be here before you know it. 

You guys were great and gave me a ton of questions, so I’ll answer half today and half Sunday. Let’s go: 

I’m tempted to say defensive tackle just for healthy concerns surrounding Tim Jernigan, but I have to answer linebacker. Jordan Hicks appears to be healthy after tearing his Achilles last year, but as good as he is when healthy, it’s just tough to count on him. Two years ago, he was able to play a full season and things were looking good, but then he suffered another serious injury. If Hicks and Bradham stay healthy, linebackers aren’t a concern. The Eagles will have either Kamu Grugier-Hill, Nate Gerry or Corey Nelson take the weakside spot on base downs and they’ll be OK. 

But without Mychal Kendricks, it’s fair to be concerned about their depth at the position, especially after veteran pickup Paul Worrilow was already lost for the year. Kendricks came up huge last year as a fill-in; not sure the Eagles have that kind of depth this year. 

Not sure yet. What I can tell you about De’Vante Bausby is that he was impressive this spring and the coaching staff seems to love him. I remain very, very skeptical that he’s good enough to keep Sidney Jones off the field. With that said, I do think he’s talented enough to make the 53-man roster. We’ll get a better sense at camp when the pads go on, but I have him penciled in to make the team. 

Yes on both. The Nate Sudfeld hype is real. In our first extended looks at the young quarterback, he’s been incredibly impressive. It’s starting to make sense why the Eagles snatched him from Washington and then blocked the Colts from signing him last season. They kept him on the 53 in the second half of last year, so they’re completely prepared to keep three QBs on this year’s roster if Foles is still on the team. 

This is going to be the summer of Nate Sudfeld. We’re going to see him play a ton in those preseason games and that will let us know if he’s ready to be QB2 behind Carson Wentz. But the fact that the Eagles didn’t bring in a more experienced veteran after Wentz went down last year pretty much tells you all you need to know about what the Eagles think of him. 

We tried that. Didn’t work out well. We’re up for suggestions. 

You have no idea how out of water this fish is. This is like taking a fish from the ocean and dropping it in Kansas. 

How about Portugal? I’ll go with them because of Ronaldo. 

Where should Carson Wentz land on NFL's top 10 list?

Where should Carson Wentz land on NFL's top 10 list?

We now officially know Carson Wentz will be somewhere in the top 10 of the NFL Network’s top 100 players of 2018. 

We just don’t know where he’ll land. 

As far as the other Eagles on the list, the Super Bowl champions weren’t extremely well-represented: 68. Zach Ertz, 69. Fletcher Cox, 95. Lane Johnson, 96. Malcolm Jenkins. 

Before tearing his ACL and LCL on Dec. 10 in Los Angeles, it seemed like Wentz was on his way to an MVP season. In 13 games, Wentz threw for over 3,200 yards and a franchise-record 33 touchdown passes. 

Wentz is the only player in the top 10 who has never been anywhere on the top 100 list before. Can he go from off the list to No. 1?

Here’s the list of players (in alphabetical order) who will be unveiled in the top 10 on Monday night. 

  • Le'Veon Bell 
  • Tom Brady 
  • Drew Brees 
  • Antonio Brown
  • Aaron Donald 
  • Todd Gurley
  • Julio Jones 
  • Von Miller 
  • Aaron Rodgers
  • Carson Wentz

In the comments below, leave your top 10 in order. We’ll see how close everyone can get. 

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