The Philadelphia Eagles are tightening up salary cap space. This time is means turning to the veterans for pay cuts.
According to ESPN’s Field Yates, Celek has agreed to take a pay cut, reducing his earnings in 2017 from $4 million to $3 million.
This pay cut comes on the heels of a restructured contract last January. That same month, the Eagles gave fellow tight end Zach Ertz a deal which made him one of the top-five highest paid tight ends in the league. The turn to Celek was to restructure his deal to decrease his salary cap while extending his contract two years. The three-year, $12 million contract created last year guaranteed him at least $6 million last season.
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Cutting Celek’s pay was not an unnecessary move for the Eagles. Celek was used last season mainly as a blocker and a No. 2 tight end. He racked up only 14 catches for 155 yards and no touchdowns. Those numbers were overshadowed by surprising weapons in Trey Burton and Ertz. Celek has been with the team since 2007 and has accrued 385 receptions for 4,868 yards and 30 touchdowns.
It was no surprise that Celek would need to take a hit to his salary. Philadelphia is going into the 2017 NFL Draft with a very small amount of cap space. As Celek is a team-first player for the organization, the Eagles will have more money to use in the future.
It is looking as though Celek will be the number two again behind Ertz. At 32 years old, his time in Philadelphia may be the last place that he plays in his career. Celek is still a powerhouse leadership figure in the locker room and the second oldest veteran on the team.