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March 01, 2017

Doug Pederson expects Jason Kelce to return, Howie Roseman remains noncommittal

INDIANAPOLIS – In January, PhillyVoice reported that the Eagles were considering moving on from long-time starting center Jason Kelce. Howie Roseman has subsequently been asked twice during interview sessions if Kelce would return, and he was noncommittal both times. On Wednesday, speaking at the NFL Combine, Doug Pederson was asked if he expected Kelce to return.

"I do," he said. "He's a player that's under contract and a Pro Bowl player, and he's been a tremendous asset to the team. So yeah."

Of course, Pederson said a year ago that Sam Bradford was the definitive starting quarterback heading into the season. And then they traded him. Peterson was then asked if Howie Roseman would make moves without Pederson's consent.

"One thing with the the relationship that Howie and I have with all our players is he trusts us as coaches," he said. "We're with these players all the time. He trusts the decisions that we make, and the comments and things that we make, and that's it. So it's not that he's going to pull the trigger on players (without our input)."

Later, when asked who the cornerstones of the team were in terms of leadership and building a desirable culture, Pederson named Jason Peters and Carson Wentz. You can decide on your own if Kelce was a notable omission.

Howie Roseman, also speaking Wednesday at the Combine, was noncommittal on the subject, as he was at the Senior Bowl a month ago.

"Jason Kelce was a Pro Bowler," said Roseman on Wednesday at the Combine. "He's been a huge contributor to our football team. I don't want to get into specifics of any player individually because I'll open the door to every other player, but certainly appreciate the tremendous value that he has had, and had for our young quarterback this season."

Previously, in early January, Roseman said definitively that Peters would return to the team, which has recently been confirmed after a failed attempt to get Peters to take a pay cut.

Kelce is scheduled to count for $6,200,000 against the salary cap in 2017, $3,800,000 of which the Eagles would save if they traded or released him. Any team trading for Kelce would only have him on their books for $5 million, as $1.2 million of his cap number is prorated amount that was already paid by the Eagles.

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