Eagles release TE Brent Celek, their longest-tenured player

Celek feels the 'Brotherly Love' after release (0:19)

Brent Celek enjoys the Sixers taking on the Pacers after the Eagles release him earlier in the day. (0:19)

Tight end Brent Celek, the longest-tenured member of the Philadelphia Eagles, was released by the team on Tuesday in a move that will free up some much-needed salary-cap space.

Celek played 11 seasons in Philadelphia and was valued for his toughness and blue-collar approach to the job -- characteristics with which the organization wants to be closely identified. He missed just one regular-season game during his time with the Eagles, and that was because he couldn't pass concussion protocol on a short week in 2012.

"Brent Celek defines what it means to be a Philadelphia Eagle," the team said in a statement. "His dedication to his profession and this organization is unmatched and he will go down as one of the best tight ends in franchise history. Brent embodied the City of Philadelphia's temperament and character with his toughness and grit. He has been a huge part of everything we have been building over the last decade, and it is only fitting that he was able to help us win our first Super Bowl last season.

"Unfortunately, in this business we are forced to make difficult decisions, especially this time of the year. This one is as tough as they come, but in our eyes, Brent will always be an Eagle."

Fellow Eagles tight end Zach Ertz took to Twitter to thank Celek for taking him under his wing.

Celek carried a 2018 cap charge of $5 million. The Eagles, about $9 million over the cap entering the day, have been working to get their finances in order before the start of the league year on Wednesday. They also restructured right tackle Lane Johnson's deal in a move that saves them an additional $7.5 million.

Celek caught 398 passes for 4,998 yards and 31 touchdowns over his career with the Eagles. He ranks fourth in team history with 175 games played, behind David Akers (188), Brian Dawkins (183) and Harold Carmichael (180).

Celek entered the league in 2007, and with his release, Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux is now the longest-tenured Philadelphia athlete, having made his debut in 2008.