Eagles tight end Brent Celek has provided coach Andy Reid something that L.J. Smith never could: a pass-catching tight end that stays on the field. On Tuesday, the Eagles made sure they don’t have to find another one for a long time.
Adam Schefter of ESPN reports the two sides have agreed in principle to a six-year contract extension through 2016. (UPDATE: The Eagles have confirmed the deal is official.)
Celek is only in his third season, but Philadelphia is not afraid to lock up young players they consider part of their team core.
Celek is giving up some potential long-term earnings as a free agent for the security of money upfront now. Similar deals given to cornerbacks Sheldon Brown and Lito Sheppard eventually upset those players when they felt their base salaries fell below market value as the contract wore on.
A fifth-round pick from Cincinnati, Celek is fifth among all NFL tight ends in receiving yards (601) and touchdowns (5).
He sprained his thumb in last Sunday’s win, but is expected to play this week against the Falcons. Celek has yet to miss a game in his career.