Despite Brent Celek's strong finish to the '08 season and the Eagles run in the postseason, many fans saw tight end as an area in which the Eagles needed to get stronger heading into 2009. The Birds drafted Cornelius Ingram, a player with great potential, but a significant question mark due to past injuries, and all of a sudden the position looked pretty solid overall. Then, Ingram went down in camp and is currently on IR for the season, and it was back to being Celek's solo tour.
Overall, he has not disappointed, and the Eagles have just rewarded Celek by agreeing to sign him to a 6-year contract extension. Financial terms are not yet available. [Update: Adam Caplan says he's hearing $33mil, $11mil guaranteed]
The timing may seem interesting in that it comes off of a tough game in which Celek dropped some key passes, and amid news that he has a minor hand injury. But in the long run, the deal is right on time for how the Eagles normally do business.
Similar to what we've just seen with the Winston Justice deal, as well as in countless past instances, the team loves to re-up its young players before they hit their free agent years—in some cases long before. Players and their agents often grow frustrated with the deals later in the term of the contract, after the guaranteed money has dried up, and younger, less-proven players are getting more dollars per year. And yet, both sides continue to sign the deals.
The front office is obviously impressed with Celek's progress, and if Ingram can recover completely and put in a full season, their options at TE should continue to be a strength.
Sixers point guard T.J. McConnell is doubtful for Wednesday's home game against the Raptors with a right wrist sprain.
McConnell was in a splint at practice Tuesday and said he would try to play but would leave it up to the medical staff.
McConnell is averaging 4.8 points and 5.4 assists in 38 games. The Sixers went 5-2 in the last seven games he started before his injury, and won 113-104 in Milwaukee without him. Sergio Rodriguez started at PG in McConnell's place and had 10 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists. Chasson Randle backed up the point and had 10 points and a pair of threes.
Big men update
Joel Embiid did not practice Tuesday and is listed as probable for Wednesday night when the Sixers (13-26) host the Raptors (27-13).
“Joel Embiid ... was a little bit, had the flu,” Brett Brown said.
Brown also added that he does not think Embiid's minutes limit will increase beyond 28 this season.
Jahlil Okafor (probable) did not participate in practice and received treatment. Brown said Okafor had soreness. Gerald Henderson is also probable and had an individualized workout Tuesday.
So far, 2017 has been a pretty big year for Wayne Simmonds.
In addition to being named to his first All-Star team this year, Simmonds clearly had big plans on how to spend his bye week away from hockey, before returning to play the New Jersey Devils on Saturday. He popped the question to his girlfriend, Crystal Corey, and she said yes.
Simmonds announced the engagement on his Instagram.
It could be good news for the Flyers, too. Simmonds is the second Flyer to get engaged this season after Claude Giroux popped the question in December after winning three in a row. The Flyers made the winning streak an even 10 after. Congratulations, Wayne!