Brent Celek: ‘Philadelphia Is My Home Forever’
Brent Celek was home celebrating his 31st birthday with his wife when he got a phone call on Monday night.
“We got a deal done,” his agent said.
Celek turned to his wife as tears came down his cheeks, before going downstairs and sitting on the couch. He thought about the journey that transformed him from a fifth-round draft pick in 2007 to a tight end with a three-year deal to remain in Philadelphia.
“This is one of the greatest days of my life,” Celek said on Friday afternoon. “To be able to say that I’m going to be a Philadelphia Eagle for life is a dream come true. When I figured it out, I couldn’t sleep.”
Celek’s contract will keep him with the Eagles through the 2018 season, and is reportedly worth $13 million with $6 million guaranteed. The news was confirmed by the team the day after Zach Ertz was signed to a five-year extension.
Celek, who grew up in Cincinnati and attended the University of Cincinnati, said he knew nothing about Philadelphia before he was drafted. He quickly observed that fans in the new town were more passionate than the ones where he was born and raised, he said, and he wanted to be an Eagle for his entire career.
“This is the greatest city to play for in the NFL. To be able to really stay anywhere the length of your career is absolutely amazing. The fact that I’ve been able to do it here has been wonderful,” Celek said. “To be here and to see how passionate everybody is, and to see the type of city — this is a blue-collar town. I feel like this is my home now. Philadelphia is my home forever.”
Celek was also asked about Sam Bradford, whom the tight end hopes is back in Philadelphia, but he didn’t make any predictions as to whether the quarterback will return.
However, he did speak on Doug Pederson, who coached in Philadelphia for four seasons while Celek was an Eagle. The tight end is unsure of how he’ll be used in Pederson’s offense, but he added that he feels healthier now than he has in the last few seasons.
“I knew Doug quite well,” Celek said. “When he was working with the quarterbacks back when he was here, I would talk to him a lot about schemes, what he was thinking — because he was a quarterback in the league. He totally understands everything that a player goes through. He understands the X’s-and-O’s, what players are thinking on certain plays versus certain coverages. I like Doug a lot. I think he’s going to be a great leader for us.”