The Eagles have parted ways with the longest-tenured player on the roster in tight end Brent Celek.
“Brent Celek defines what it means to be a Philadelphia Eagle. 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,” the team said in a statement. “Brent embodies 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 year. This one is as tough as they come, but in our eyes, Brent will always be an Eagle.”
The tight end position will look vastly different for the Eagles in 2018. Zach Ertz, a Pro Bowl selection last year, is under contract. However, Trey Burton is set to become an unrestricted free agent and reports indicate he will sign with the Chicago Bears. No other tight end on the roster played a game in 2017.
Celek was drafted by the Eagles in 2007 out of Cincinnati and leaves Philadelphia with the fourth-most receptions in team history (398). Celek, who missed just one regular-season game in his 11-year career with Philadelphia, ranks fourth in team history with 175 games played behind David Akers (188), Brian Dawkins (183), and Harold Carmichael (180).
During his Eagles career, Celek totaled 398 catches for 4,998 yards and 31 touchdowns, marking the eighth-most receiving yards and 11th-most receiving touchdowns (tied) in franchise history. He also played in nine postseason contests and added 27 catches for 257 yards and three touchdowns. In 2009, Celek recorded career highs in receptions (76), receiving yards (971), and receiving touchdowns (8). His 971 receiving yards that season are the second most by a tight end in Eagles history, trailing only Pete Retzlaff’s 1,190 receiving yards in 1965.
Since the second grade, Celek dreamed of winning a Super Bowl. He had never won a title at any level – Pop Warner, high school, college – until his past season. This feature from before the playoff run details Celek’s burning desire to bring the Lombardi Trophy to Philadelphia.
I’ve had very few better teammates than @BrentCelek . I knew it from the outside but this year confirmed it for me: Celek is a philly legend! 11 year run, so loved. So much respect for you as a player and teammate. Brother 4 life!!
Can’t say enough about @BrentCelek as a teammate and friend. Unbelievably humble and hardworking guy – an absolute grinder and a true brother. Happy we got that ring together Celsie!! pic.twitter.com/m1i7SJkW3y