The Philadelphia Eagles continued the process of locking up their offensive line by re-signing center Jason Kelce to a new six-year extension with an overall value slightly over $40 million. A total of $13 million is guaranteed.
Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network passed along the terms of the agreement:
For Eagles C Jason Kelce, it’s a 6-year extension worth $37.5M. $13M guaranteed, $6.25M average. Total value: $40.1M. Top 5 center— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 27, 2014
The deal with Kelce comes one day after the Eagles announced an extension for fellow offensive lineman Jason Peters. By re-signing two key cogs up front, Philadelphia is hoping the unit as a whole can continue to build off to progress it made in 2013 over the next few years.
Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer provided comments from head coach Chip Kelly about Kelce, who he considers the perfect type of player for the franchise:
Chip on Kelce: “Jason is the epitome of the type of player we want around here, both on and off the field."— Zach Berman (@ZBerm) February 27, 2014
General manager Howie Roseman praised the center's work ethic in remarks supplied by the Eagles in explaining why the team gave him a long-term contract:
GM Roseman on @JKelce: His intelligence, work ethic and pride in his game are just off the charts.— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) February 27, 2014
Field Yates of ESPN Boston noted an interesting tidbit as Kelce becomes just the third player in the league signed through 2020 after inking the new deal:
Eagles C Jason Kelce joins Bears QB Jay Cutler and Cowboys K Dan Bailey as the only NFL players under contract through 2020.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) February 27, 2014
In order to thrive as a center in Kelly's fast-paced offense a center must be able to read and identify defenses quickly to make the line calls. Kelce proved adept in that area while starting all 16 games for the Eagles in 2013.
Is the Kelce extension good for the Eagles?
He was also a key part of a line that protected Nick Foles as one of the season's breakout stars passed for 27 touchdowns and just two interceptions in 13 games. Kelce and Peters were both crucial to that success, so the new deals don't come as a surprise.
Looking ahead, it appears the Eagles are making a concerted effort to lock up key members of the offense while they have the opportunity. The unit ranked second in the league last season at over 415 total yards per game.
A lot of that success was attributed to playmakers like LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson and Foles, and rightfully so. But strong play and chemistry along the offensive line was and will remain key to Philadelphia's high-powered attack moving forward.
By making sure Peters and now Kelce stick around, the Eagles show they recognize the importance of a strong front five.