BRENT CELEK just finished his 10th Eagles season, with a career-low 14 catches for 155 yards. Celek is someone the organization values, and he's still the team's most effective blocking tight end, but as he prepares to turn 32 on Jan. 25, it's possible Celek's 159th Eagles game on Sunday was his last.
"I expect to be back, but that's not my decision," Celek said as players packed up in the NovaCare locker room Monday. "I think they expect me to come back, as long as I want to come back."
Celek's cap number in 2017 is $5 million, and releasing him would incur a $4 million dead-cap charge. He said he is fine with the 2016 trend of more snaps for Zach Ertz and Trey Burton, fewer for him.
"These guys deserve playing time as well, and whatever role they need me to play, I'm going to continue to play," he said.
Celek is fourth on the team's all-time receiving list, with 385 catches.
Other vignettes from the day the team dispersed:
* Rookie corner Jalen Mills, who played nearly two-thirds of the defensive snaps and would seem to be a potential 2017 starter, said he hit the "rookie wall" early, then bounced back, but definitely is looking forward to resting up.
"In Week 5, I hit the wall. I've just been grindin' throughout the whole season, so rest is the big thing for me," he said. He said the draft process, then spring work, then training camp, then the season, made for a long journey. "I just woke up one day and I was just dragged. Out of nowhere, I had no energy. Was sleeping nine hours, getting in the cold tub for as long as I could." He said he started to feel better around Week 10, but "body's hurtin', for sure."
* Starting corner Nolan Carroll, whose play on a one-year contract seemed to drop off dramatically the second half of the season, has said he thinks his agent is talking to the Eagles about a new deal. Carroll said Monday that "it's not up to me, so I'm just going to go home and just relax. I can't do anything else . . . Get away from the game a little bit, clear my head."
Carroll, who turns 30 on Jan. 18, said he still thinks he can play. "You don't play seven years out of luck," he said. "I'm versatile, I can do a bunch of different things."
* Tight end Trey Burton, a special-teams ace who had never caught more than three passes in a season before, finished 2016 with 37 catches for 327 yards. He will be a restricted free agent, but given his value, it's unlikely he's leaving. Burton noted that wherever he's tendered, he'll make a lot more than the $600,000 he was paid in 2016 in the final season of his three-year rookie deal, signed as an undrafted player.
* Linebacker Nigel Bradham faces offseason court appearances for his two arrests, the incident with the hotel attendant just before training camp and the gun he accidentally left in his backpack at Miami International Airport while returning from the bye week. Of course, there is the possibility of NFL sanctions as well.
"Honestly, I just believe they're waiting until the cases are closed," said Bradham, who started all 16 games. "My next hearing is Jan. 17 (on the hotel matter). Just pretty much go from there, man."
* Stefen Wisniewski signed with the Eagles last spring hoping a one-year deal would lead to a starting role and a platform for a better free-agent contract in 2017. Wisniewski played in 15 games at guard, but only started six.
"I would've liked to play a little more, but I got to play a lot," Wisniewski said. "I can't be too disappointed with it . . . I got an opportunity to show what I can do."
It's unlikely Wisniewski returns, given that the Eagles want Isaac Seumalo to start at left guard, but if 2016 showed anything, it was that o-line depth is important.
"I think they like me, but I can't predict where I'm gonna be," he said.
* Nelson Agholor said the ankle injury that took him out of Sunday's game on the first series wasn't serious. He said he has accepted his second-year struggles as "an opportunity to grow."
"Nothing's mine . . . you have to work for it and you have to compete for it. That's my mindset," he said, as the team looks at improving the wideout corps.
* Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich is expected to interview for the head-coaching vacancy in Buffalo, where he spent much of his playing career.
* The Eagles signed some practice-squad guys to future contracts Monday, retaining them for the spring. They were linebacker Don Cherry, tight end Anthony Denham, cornerback Aaron Grymes, wide receivers Marcus Johnson and David Watford, offensive linemen Aaron Neary and Darrell Greene, and defensive tackle Aziz Shittu.