It’s been a good week for Eagles tight ends.
A day after 25-year-old Zach Ertzheld a press conference to discuss his five-year, $42 million extension the Birds’ other tight end, Brent Celek, was reported to have signed a three-year, $13 million deal.
The deal is good for a number of reasons. For one, it brings back one of the most tenured and respected veteran voices in the Eagles locker room. Cohesiveness will surely be stressed by Doug Pederson’s regime.
“Brent Celek has been unbelievable,” Ertz told the media Monday, citing Celek’s leadership and value as a teammate.”I owe a lot of this deal to him, because of the player that I’m able to emulate each and every day during practice. The way he approaches the game both on and off the field is something that I never take for granted.”
Another big plus in the signing is it frees up cap space. Celek was slated to give the Eagles a $5 million cap hit in 2016. The new deal takes that off the books. Reports confirm that Celek, 31, has $6 million guaranteed in the deal. Which insinuates that he will be much less expensive to the salary cap in 2016.
And that means, of course, that the Eagles could be more comfortable giving Sam Bradford a meaningful offer to remain in Philly. Bradford is expected to be worth anywhere between $15 and $25 million per season on the open market. Yesterday, Celek’s fellow tight end Ertz said there is strong support for Bradford returning.
“I know a lot of guys would love to have Sam back,” Ertz said.
Celek has spent nine season with the Eagles, a handful of them working with Pederson when Andy Reid was head coach.
He as 4,713 yards and 30 touchdowns over that timespan.