PHILADELPHIA ( - With the new league year just over a week away the Eagles are nearly $10 million over the salary cap.

According to the latest NFLPA figures, the exact number is $9,821,315 over what was set at a $177,200,000 cap for the 2018 season so adjustments need to be made. One of them will not be the retirement of veteran tight end Brent Celek, however.

After news broke that Celek wanted to continue playing in 2018, the tight end confirmed that was the case with a text message to's Jeff McLane.

Celek, 33, is due to count $5 million against the cap and the Eagles could save $4M of that by releasing the popular veteran.

There is some thought, however, that Philadelphia would have preferred Celek walk away on top after winning Super Bowl LII and therefore take a difficult public relations hurdle off the table.

At this stage, Celek remains the Eagles best blocking tight end by a wide margin but has become a descending, sub-package player behind receiving threat Zach Ertz.

The early betting was that declining Torrey Smith's $5M option, and having Celek join Donnie Jones in retirement would quickly correct the short-term overage but now Howie Rosman has another difficult decision to make.

The longest-tenured Philadelphia athlete Celek was originally a fifth-round pick in the 2007 draft. Since then he has snared 398 receptions (fourth in franchise history) for 4,998 yards and 31 touchdowns over his 11 NFL seasons.

-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for You can reach him at or on Twitter @JFMcMullen

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