Eagles release veteran TE Brent Celek
The Philadelphia Eagles have significantly shortened their tight-end depth chart this offseason. After seeing Trey Burton – of “Philly Special” fame – depart for the Chicago Bears, the team has now cut veteran tight end Brent Celek, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
The #Eagles have released veteran TE Brent Celek, who had a $5M cap hit for 2018
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 13, 2018
The Eagles are currently strapped for cap space and will stand to save $4 million with Celek’s release.
Celek, 33, was the longest-tenured member on the Eagles team. Philly drafted him in the fifth round in 2007 and spent his entire 11-year NFL career with the team. During that decade-plus in the league, Celek has missed just one out of a possible 176 games, which is an incredible feat.
Celek finished with 398 catches for 4,998 receiving yards and 31 receiving touchdowns in his 175 games with the Eagles. He has seen his receiving role in the offense significantly shrink over the last two years, as he’s totaled just 27 total catches, 285 yards and one touchdown. However, he remained a vital part of the team thanks to his leadership, toughness, blocking ability, and mentorship of Zach Ertz.
Speaking of Ertz, the Eagles must now find another reliable tight end option to play behind him with Celek gone. Ertz is coming off another terrific season where he led the team with 74 receptions and 824 receiving yards and was tied for second with eight touchdowns.
The three other Eagles tight ends currently under contract – Billy Brown, Joshua Perkins, and Adam Zaruba – did not play a single regular-season snap for the team in 2017.
As for Celek, he reportedly isn’t planning to retire just yet and intends to play on next season, even if it’s not with the Eagles. But at least he got to win a ring before he left.