Philadelphia Eagles: 2017 may be Brent Celek’s final season


The 2017 season may serve as the final 16 games in Brent Celek’s career.

The 2007 NFL Draft would see the Philadelphia Eagles take a chance on a relatively unknown tight end from Cincinnati, Ohio. Brent Celek played his college ball primarily under Mark Dantonio with the Cincinnati Bearcats. His freshman season was spent playing for Rick Minter. During his time in Cincy, he enjoyed a couple of bowl victories. The first came in his sophomore season in the Fort Worth Bowl. The second came in the International Bowl to conclude his senior season. His career totals were 91 receptions, 1,135 yards and 14 touchdowns.

For whatever reason, that didn’t earn him a place at the 2007 NFL Scouting Combine. Seen as a potential undrafted free agent by some, Celek managed to creep onto a few draft boards. The Eagles, as they had a tendency to do during the Andy Reid era, bucked traditional thinking and went with Celek in the fifth round of that year’s draft, making him the 162nd-overall selection.

Big-game Brent:

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Celek immediately became a fan favorite with his blue-collar work ethic, but he was placed on the NFL’s radar when his 131-yard performance in a 2008 week nine regular season game set a franchise record. He proved he could show up for big games as well when his ten receptions in the 2009 NFC Championship Game set another franchise record. During the Eagles’ playoff run that season, Celek was on the receiving end of 19 passes. At the time, that gave him the third-highest total in NFL history in that category. Things were off to an excellent start.

A tremendous career:

After L.J. Smith‘s departure in 2009, Celek took his place atop the Eagles depth chart where he remained for the majority of his career. He’s seen three head coaches, six different starting quarterbacks and 160 regular season games (that includes 122 starts). His career totals are as follows: 385 receptions, 4,868 yards and 30 touchdowns. There’s just one thing.

The 2017 NFL season will be Celek’s eleventh. He signed a three-year contract extension on January 26th of 2016 worth $13 million ($6 million guaranteed), but his numbers have slipped. The 2016 season was his least productive as he recorded career lows in receptions (14), yards (155) and touchdowns (zero). Zach Ertz and Trey Burton now precede him on the depth chart, and with the acquisitions the Eagles have made in free agency, it appears a fan favorite’s time will be coming to an end.

Still, Celek’s career is a testament to loyalty and hard work. He’s a guy who showed so many what it means and looks like to be a professional. He’s in the hearts of Eagles fans forever, and who knows? Maybe he’ll be in the Eagles’ Hall of Fame as well.