Latest On Zach Ertz, Eagles

At long last, the tight end market underwent significant change this year. George Kittle and Travis Kelce signed new deals, raising the position’s ceiling to $15MM per year. Zach Ertz would be in line for a contract in that neighborhood.

However, the Eagles and their Pro Bowl tight end have hit a bit of a snag. Philadelphia’s latest Ertz extension offer came featured less guaranteed money than its previous proposal — submitted in November — and the negotiations have come to an “abrupt halt,” Ian Rapoport of reports (on Twitter).

The Eagles and Ertz resumed negotiations in late August, but the sides were evidently talking last year as well. Philly’s most recent Ertz offer was worth less over the next four years than Austin Hooper‘s four-year, $42MM Browns deal, Rapoport adds. Ertz is under contract through the 2021 season, so this would mean the final two years of his current contract and the first two new years do not quite measure up to Hooper’s then-record contract.

This does not mean the Eagles are closing the book on extending Ertz, with Mike Garafolo of tweeting the team is still open to revisiting the issue. Ertz, 29, is set to make base salaries of $6.7MM and $8.3MM in 2020 and ’21, respectively. He signed his five-year, $42.5MM contract in 2016. Its $8.5MM-AAV figure now ranks seventh among tight ends entering the 2020 season. No guaranteed money remains on Ertz’s deal; Kittle just signed for $40MM guaranteed.

Although the Eagles drafted Dallas Goedert in the 2018 second round, they have multiple injury issues at wide receiver. Neither Jalen Reagor nor Alshon Jeffery expected to be ready to play in Week 1. This stands to increase the Eagles’ reliance on Ertz. So, it would be surprising if the team did not re-enter negotiations with its eighth-year tight end fairly soon.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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4 comments on “Latest On Zach Ertz, Eagles

  1. zpgreen

    This appears like it could get messy. There’s really 3 outcomes here: 1) they extend Ertz and keep Goedert and try to work with both of them in the offense like the Patriots were able to do. 2)They trade Ertz if they don’t feel they can come to terms and move on with Goedert as their primary TE. 3) They extend Ertz and trade Goedert so they don’t have to worry about paying two tight ends big money.

    I personally see the second scenario playing out since Ertz’s salary is still palatable right now especially given he is healthy and producing. If he threatens to sit without a new deal, then the Eagles trade him since it seems Wentz might arguably have better chemistry with Goedert at times anyways.

    I think Ertz is better than Goedert and Ertz deserves a raise, but it’s a dangerous game if teams give in to paying players halfway through contracts. Realistically, the whole system of NFL contracts probably needs to be reworked, but that’s a different discussion.

    • wagner13

      The problem is Philadelphia’s troubling financial situation beyond 2020. They can’t allow Ertz to average a significantly higher salary or else they’ll be buried further in salary cap Hell. It might be best to just cut their loss and see what they can get in a trade. He’s still in his prime on a reasonable deal, so they could reel in a significant haul.

      Goedert does boast more athleticism even if he’s worse off as a blocker and a bit more inconsistent. The Eagles could then address more pressing needs at linebacker and safety

    • cka2nd

      When the Pats had Gronk and Hernandez, they were both on rookie contracts, so it was only 2016-2018 when they were paying starter-like salaries to both Gronk and first Martellus Bennett and then Dwayne Allen. I have a feeling that once Goedert’s rookie deal is done, Ertz will either be gone or get a Kyle Rudolph-like extension with only a little guaranteed money upfront and a lot of club options after that.

  2. Regi Green

    He’ll turn 30 this season,and has 2 years remaining on his contract,and then the Eagles will have the option of using the franchise tag twice.Eagles really don’t need to do anything just yet.

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