Thursday, July 30, 2015

Celek signs six-year extension; Norwood likely to be signed from practice squad

Brent Celek promised that a few years from now he won't feel as though he's being underpaid.

Celek signs six-year extension; Norwood likely to be signed from practice squad

Eagles´ Brent Celek drops a pass during the fourth quarter against Washington Redskins´ Fred Smoot.
Eagles' Brent Celek drops a pass during the fourth quarter against Washington Redskins' Fred Smoot. Yong Kim / Staff Photographer

Brent Celek promised that a few years from now he won't feel as though he's being underpaid.

The Eagles' tight end signed a six-year contract extension today that a league source said was worth $4.8 million per year, including an $11 million signing bonus. The deal has incentives that could push the total value to around $33 million.

The extension is comparable to the six-year deal that Jason Witten signed in 2006 with the Dallas Cowboy and five years from now it could leave Celek feeling underpaid. If that's the case, Celek said so be it.

"I'll tell you right now that I'm set and I'm happy with my deal," Celek said. "I can promise you that I won't be up here complaining about my deal. They put a trust in me by signing me early and have given me financial security for the rest of my life, so I owe it to them to play out my deal and that is personally how I feel and that is how I'll go about my business."

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Witten, a five-time Pro Bowler, received a six-year extension from the Cowboys in 2006 that was worth $29 million. Witten signed that deal before his fourth season in the league when he had already been to two Pro Bowls.

Celek is in his third season with the Eagles, but his first full season as a starter. He leads the Eagles with 54 receptions. He is fifth among NFL tight ends with 601 receiving yards and tied for second with five touchdowns.

With Celek still in the early stages of his career, the Eagles are also taking a gamble that the 24-year-old tight end will continue to be among the league's most productive players at his position.

"I think that's what makes it a good deal for both sides," general manager Tom Heckert said. "We're taking some risk and so is he. It's a good deal  for both parties. We send our scouts out every year to look at the college guys and our main goal is we want tough guys, smart guys that love football. I think Brent is that type of guy."

Celek is recovering from a sprained thumb he suffered Sunday against the Washington Redskins. He had mulitiple drops in that game, but refused to blame it on the injury.

"It's getting a lot better," Celek said. "It bugged me a little bit, but my thumb is no excuse. I don't care if I had a thumb, I should be able to catch the ball."

Celek said he'll be able to play Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons.

A team source indicated the Eagles are still in negotiations with some of their players for contract extensions. The source said he did not know if any more deals would get done, however.

It also appears as if the Eagles are going to make a roster move today by adding a wide receiver from the practice squad. Because it's possible that DeSean Jackson will miss Sunday's game in Atlanta with a concussion, the Eagles are expected to sign former Penn State wide receiver Jordan Norwood, who has been on the practice squad since the third week of the season.

Without Jackson, the Eagles' top three receivers are Jason Avant, Jeremy Maclin and Reggie Brown.

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Birds' Eye View is the Inquirer's blog covering all things Philadelphia Eagles and the NFL.

Jeff McLane Inquirer Staff Writer
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