PHILADELPHIA — Keeping key parts of their offense together for a long time is clearly a priority for the Philadelphia Eagles.
The NFC East champions agreed to a five-year contract with wide receiver Riley Cooper and a seven-year deal with center Jason Kelce on Thursday. They gave All-Pro left tackle Jason Peters a new five-year deal a day earlier.
“It’s a great reflection of ownership, a credit to Jeffrey Lurie for the flexibility to do what we need to be successful,” general manager Howie Roseman said.
Cooper would’ve become a free agent next month after a breakout season in which he set career highs in receptions (47), yards receiving (835) and touchdowns (eight). His deal is worth $25 million over five years with about $10 million guaranteed, according to a person familiar with the contract who spoke on condition of anonymity because terms weren’t announced.
“Riley is one of the toughest and hardest-working guys in our locker room,” coach Chip Kelly said. “We talk a lot about how players have to make the most of their opportunities, and he did just that last year. He used his size, strength and speed to make a lot of big plays for our team and I’m excited to watch him build upon his success.”
Cooper has come a long way since leaving the Eagles for three days during training camp after using a racial slur.
“I didn’t test free agency because I wanted to be here,” he said. “I wanted to be in Philly from the get-go.”
Kelce was signed through 2016, and the new deal adds four years to his contract. Overall, it’s worth $37.5 million with $13 million guaranteed, according to the person familiar with the deals.
“The numbers just sounded right,” Kelce said.
Kelce was part of an offensive line that helped the Eagles lead the NFL in rushing while setting a franchise record for points (442).
“Jason is the epitome of the type of player we want around here, both on and off the field,” Kelly said. “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.”
Roseman said the signings won’t affect the team’s draft plans. The Eagles shifted their focus from drafting for needs to drafting the best players available on the board a couple years ago. The results have been successful picks.
“A lot has changed since 2011, starting with team philosophy,” Roseman said. “I’m proud of the process we’ve developed to set ourselves up to contend.”
The Eagles were 10-6 and won the NFC East title in Kelly’s first season as coach after going 4-12 in 2012.
Cooper blossomed in his first season as a starter after Jeremy Maclin went down for the season with a knee injury in camp. Maclin, a former first-round pick, is scheduled to be a free agent, but the Eagles are hoping to bring him back.
“He fits into our chemistry and what we’re trying to do,” Roseman said.
Hall of Fame game set
NEW YORK — The Buffalo Bills and New York Giants will kick off the 2014 NFL preseason in the Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio.
The league announced Thursday the matchup for the Aug. 3 game.
The contest will be played a day after the Hall of Fame inducts seven new members, including one each from the Bills and Giants.
Wide receiver Andre Reed played 15 of his 16 seasons with the Bills from 1985-1999. Defensive end Michael Strahan spent his 15-season career with the Giants from 1993-2007, winning a Super Bowl in his final season.
The other inductees are linebacker Derrick Brooks, punter Ray Guy, defensive end Claude Humphrey, tackle Walter Jones and defensive back Aeneas Williams
This is the first time the Bills and Giants will meet in the Hall of Fame Game.
The Giants played in the first Hall of Fame Game in 1962 and followed with three other trips to Canton to play in the preseason classic (1972, 1985, and 2002). Buffalo will be playing for the fourth time (1974, 1989, and 2009).
Incognito bashes Ferrari
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Police checking on reported damage to a car belonging to Richie Incognito, the player at the center of the Miami Dolphins’ bullying scandal, say Incognito told an officer he did the damage himself.
Sgt. Mark Clark says the Dolphins guard took responsibility when police contacted him Thursday.
He says police first went to Incognito’s home Wednesday after being contacted by TMZ Sports and being given a photo of a black Ferrari with several dents in its hood.
Clark says further details are unavailable because no report was filed because no crime was reported. He says Scottsdale police are done with the matter.
An investigation conducted for the NFL determined Incognito and two other offensive linemen engaged in persistent harassment of tackle Jonathan Martin, another offensive lineman and an assistant trainer.