In his first season as a full-time starter, Brent Celek has emerged as one of the league's best tight ends with 54 catches for 601 receiving yards and five touchdowns.
The Eagles, as they've done with many other players in recent years, reached out to Celek and signed him to a six-year contract extension on Tuesday which secures his services through the 2016 season. Celek praised the organization and explained why he, like the other players in the past, wants to be a part of this franchise for the long haul.
"They run this organization in a first-class way," Celek said. "This is the only organization I've been to, but when you talk to other players that are on our team who have been on other teams that's all they talk about is how great it is here and how us young guys, we don't understand how it's like to be on other teams."
A fifth-round draft pick out of Cincinnati in 2007, Celek has played in 43 regular season games (22 starts) and has caught 97 passes for 1,097 yards and seven touchdowns. In three playoff games, all last season, Celek led the team with 19 catches for 151 yards and three touchdowns. Celek set a franchise-playoff record with 10 catches in the NFC Championship game and tied another team-playoff record with two touchdown grabs in that contest.
Celek's contract wasn't due to expire until after the 2010 season. Celek is thankful that the organization placed its faith with a long-term deal that will provide financial security instead of having to wait until free agency.
"I'm set and I'm happy with my deal. I can promise you that I won't be up here complaining about my deal because they put trust in me by signing me early and giving me financial security for the rest of my life," Celek said. "I owe it to them to play out my deal and that is personally how I feel and that's how I'll go about my business."
Don't expect the contract to change Celek's approach to the game. He spent the entire off-season in Philadelphia working out and studying the league's top tight ends to add some nuances to his game. Now that he is one of the game's best, Celek wants to fulfill what he described as his "ultimate goal."
"Coming into the season, just like I have every season, I worked my butt off day in and day out. I give it 110 percent every day. That's just the type of guy that I am. That's not going to change," Celek said. "I didn't think about the contract situation. I didn't think about anything but winning the Super Bowl because that's my ultimate goal here, to win a Super Bowl. Working towards that, this (contract extension) is just a byproduct of that. Still, my main goal is to help this team win a Super Bowl."
Celek is part of a young nucleus of players that includes 23-year-old DeSean Jackson (today is Jackson's birthday), 21-year-old Jeremy Maclin and 21-year-old LeSean McCoy. In fact, the average age of the current roster is 26.6 years old, while 76 percent of that roster is signed through 2010 and beyond, including 22 players who are signed through 2012 and beyond.
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 2:49 p.m., December 1