Eagles Restructure TE Zach Ertz’s Contract

Zach Ertz has helped the Eagles clear up some cap space. ESPN’s Field Yates reports (via Twitter) that the Eagles have restructured the tight end’s contract.

Specifically, the team converted $7.195MM of Ertz’s contract into a bonus, opening up $5.76MM in cap room. The move increases the Eagles’ cap space from around $21.7MM to around $27.5MM. It’s seemingly a win-win for both sides; Ertz wasn’t required to take a pay cut, and the Eagles received some financial flexibility. We’ve actually seen the organization do a similar maneuver with the tight end’s contract back in 2017 and 2018.

The 28-year-old Ertz had his most productive NFL season in 2018, hauling in 116 receptions for 1163 yards and eight touchdowns. The former second-rounder has spent his entire six-year career with Philly.

There are a variety of reasons why the Eagles could be looking to clear up cap space. The front office may be looking to add free agents after May 7th, when several notable veteran players are no longer tied to compensatory draft picks. The team could also be looking to sign some of their current players to extensions, including quarterback Carson Wentz. Most likely, the team is just looking for some extra financial flexibility in case the offseason takes an unexpected turn.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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7 comments on “Eagles Restructure TE Zach Ertz’s Contract

  1. HubcapDiamondStarHalo

    NFL cap hit rules are the weirdest mess imaginable. This bit of work says, “You can pay the same amount of money out that you were paying before, but because you’re paying it out differently, we’ll allow you to pay out more money without penalty later.”

    • JJB0811

      Which is exactly why I say the salary cap is a myth. Why not just sign a player to a 4 year contract w/ annual bonus rather than a salary number? That’s what they do anyways.

    • NFL cap rules are pretty weird but the teams do see a penalty/consequence. If I’m understanding this correctly (since this is how it is normally done), the Eagles converted Ertz’s salary (which normally would’ve been received as game checks) into a bonus (which he gets right away). That opens up short term cap room but at the cost of long term cap room. Whatever the amount that was converted is then split on the remaining years of the contract as dead money. Small and infrequent salary conversions aren’t as consequential if the team properly manages their cap. The real issues for teams start when high priced players are constantly reworking their contracts and thus pushing more dead money down the line. The Saints and Cowboys would be ideal examples of this as they seemingly restructure the contracts of their high priced vets every offseason.

      • JJB0811

        Your words “The Saints and Cowboys would be ideal examples of this as they seemingly restructure the contracts of their high priced vets every offseason.”

        When have those two teams ever been penalized for being over the cap? Since the last CBA, the cap rises at least 10% annually. So there’s isn’t any punishment for switching game checks to a bonus. It’s a hoax.

  2. Dallas0987

    Even though I am a Dallas fan this seems to be a pretty safe bet.
    The other moves like Brandon graham and desean’s contract seems very very risky.
    Pushing future dead money for very old players usually does not turn out well.
    I challenge anyone calling howie a genius should change the word genius to gambler.
    The odds do not look good to work out (Father Time is undefeated)

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