Two-time All-Pro left tackle Jason Peters signed a four-year contract extension worth at least $53 million that keeps him under contract through 2018.
Peters, 32, will not be among the NFL's highest-paid offensive tackles. In 2011, Cleveland Browns left tackle Joe Thomas signed a seven-year, $84 million deal with more guaranteed money -- $44 million -- than Peters' entire contract.
Acquired from the Buffalo Bills after a contract-related holdout in 2009, Peters made $12 million for the Eagles last season. Peters ruptured his Achilles tendon twice in 2012. First in March during team workouts and again in May while moving furniture in his house.
"There aren't many people cut from the same cloth as Jason Peters," said coach Chip Kelly. "To be able to bounce back from two Achilles injuries and return to an All-Pro level speaks not only to his incredible athleticism, but proves just how hard he works at his game. Having him at left tackle provides a lot of comfort to our quarterback and to our entire offense. He's a guy that many players look up to in our locker room."
General manager Howie Roseman said, "Jason is everything you look for in a left tackle. The unique blend of size, speed and athleticism that Jason possesses is something that everyone wants in an offensive lineman. However, what really makes him unique is his desire to improve day in and day out despite the fact that he's played at an elite level for so many years. We are truly rewarding Jason's excellence."
Cooper, set to become an unrestricted free agent March 11, signed a five-year deal worth $25 million and Kelce, the first 2011 draft pick to sign a significant second contract, received a seven-year deal worth more than $37 million. Maclin signed a one-year deal worth $5.5 million.
"Jason is the epitome of the type of player we want around here, both on and off the field," coach Chip Kelly said in a statement of Kelce, who is one of the NFL's five highest-paid centers. "He's tough, extremely intelligent and is a leader by his actions and by his words. His athleticism is something that really sticks out when you watch him play. There aren't many centers that can get down the field like he does."
With more than $25 million in salary-cap space entering the week, the Eagles vowed to prioritize re-signing their own players.
Cooper had a breakout season with 47 receptions for 835 yards and eight touchdowns. He became a favorite downfield target of quarterback Nick Foles, overcoming self-inflicted character damage in the 2013 preseason when he was caught on camera using a racial slur at a country music concert attended by multiple teammates.
"He made the most of his opportunities last year and we all expect him to build upon that," general manager Howie Roseman said. "Riley wants to be an Eagle and expressed that several times to us throughout this process. We were very excited to get this done before the start of free agency."
Maclin, 25, missed the entire 2013 season with a torn ACL suffered during training camp. In 2012, Maclin led the Eagles with 69 receptions, 857 yards receiving and seven touchdowns. He has been a starter in each of his four full NFL seasons.
"Jeremy is an ideal player for our scheme with his combination of size, speed, strength and route-running ability, in addition to his dynamic playmaking talent," said Eagles general manager Howie Roseman in a statement released by the team. "We're happy to see him rehabbing well and to get him under contract for the 2014 season."
--The Eagles released veteran wide receiver Jason Avant, who was due a $1 million bonus on March 15, the team announced Tuesday. The Eagles also save $3.25 million against the salary cap by cutting Avant.
Avant played his first eight NFL seasons in Philadelphia and ranks 11th in team history with 297 receptions for 3,646 yards and 12 touchdowns. The Chicago native was drafted in the fourth round in 2006 from the University of Michigan.
In 2010, Avant was chosen by his teammates as the Ed Block Courage Award recipient in recognition of the adversity he overcame in his youth.
"There have not been any players who have represented the Philadelphia Eagles with more class and dignity than Jason Avant," Eagles chairman Jeffrey Lurie said in a statement. "Whether it was in the locker room, on the playing field or in the community, he has always been a true professional, a role model and a winner every step of the way. On behalf of the entire organization, I wish Jason and his wife Stacy, and their two daughters, nothing but the best as he continues his fine career."
General manager Howie Roseman and head coach Chip Kelly also released statements.
"There's no question that releasing a player like Jason is one of the toughest parts of the job," Roseman said. "It's a tough day when you have to say goodbye to player who you have so much respect for. I can't thank him enough for the leadership, the big plays and the positive impression he made on so many of his teammates."
"In the year I spent with Jason, he was unbelievable in terms of his work ethic and his selfless nature," Kelly said. "He was a great teammate. We know he will have a chance to sign with another team and by releasing him now, he will have a full offseason to make the necessary adjustments. I had a chance to speak with him today and he handled himself like the true professional he is."
--General manager Howie Roseman said quarterback Nick Foles went into February looking to get better. Last year, he focused on improving his footwork and had a historically prolific season -- 29 touchdowns and two interceptions -- to put the Eagles in the playoffs as NFC East champions.
But Kelly said nothing is guaranteed for Foles, a 24 year old entering his third season after being selected in the third round of the same draft that produced Russell Wilson a few picks earlier.
Roseman said that's not a slight, but a philosophical mantra.
"Everyone needs to be pushed a little bit," Roseman said. "It's not an indictment of anyone at a particular position. Internally we're talking about that. Let's try to make a good player great, let's try to make a great player historic."
--General manager Howie Roseman said this year's draft is particularly strong at wide receiver.
"It goes without saying that the wide receiver class is unique," Roseman said. "When you're talking about 19 underclassmen, and you add them to the senior class, that's a unique group of players and that's a unique class at the wide receiver position."
The Eagles are apparently close to re-signing Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin, but there have also been reports Jason Avant could be released.
"It's a piece of the puzzle," Roseman said. "Not necessarily just Jeremy and Riley. When you look at this class compared to classes of last few years, I think we'll be sitting there in every round and there's going to be a receiver that we like. It's just gonna happen that way because you look around the league and there are teams that already are 3-4 deep at wide receiver and probably aren't going to want to take one early. And that's going to push guys back.
"It's interesting, when you go back and study a draft that had a glut at a particular position where you find that guys fall, there's usually a run at some point because once one or two go, teams start to worry that they're not going to get the guy they really want."
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
--S Nate Allen: Improved a lot this season. Never has lived up to second-round expectations, but good fit for Bill Davis' defense.
--S Colt Anderson: Eagles' best special teams player. Likely to be re-signed.
--S Kurt Coleman: Solid special teams player. Eagles will be interested in re-signing him, but might prefer someone who's a better safety.
--DL Clifton Geathers: Played 254 snaps this season. Serviceable player with great size and long arms. Probably will be re-signed unless Eagles find someone better.
--P Donnie Jones: They want him back. Broke franchise record for punts inside the 20.
--QB Michael Vick: Not expected to be re-signed.
EDGE-RUSHING LINEBACKER: Trent Cole had seven sacks in the last six games and Connor Barwin had five. Neither are the difference-making pass rusher the Eagles need for their 3-4.
SAFETY: Patrick Chung was a disappointment and isn't likely to be back. Nate Allen is a free agent. The jury is out on Earl Wolff, who missed the last five regular-season games with a knee injury.
CORNERBACK: The Eagles have no depth behind starters Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher and slot corner Brandon Boykin.
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