Zach Ertz: I’m Not Sure If Eagles Want Me Here

Sep. 13: Rapoport says that Ertz and GM Howie Roseman got into an animated and heated discussion after a practice this week (video link). That discussion took place in front of several players, leading Rapoport to speculate that Ertz’s future in Philadelphia may be even more in doubt.

In a subsequent tweet, however, RapSheet said that the exchange also included owner Jeffrey Lurie and ended on a professional note. So clearly there is some tension there, but the situation does not appear to be beyond repair.

Sep. 10: Eagles tight end Zach Ertz says he wants to stay in Philadelphia, but he doesn’t “know for sure if that feeling is mutual,” (Twitter link via Ian Rapoport of Talks recently broke off between the Eagles and Ertz, who characterized the process as “frustrating at times” and “difficult.”

Ertz is believed to be eyeing numbers similar to those achieved by George Kittle and Travis Kelce, who pushed the TE ceiling to $15MM per year. Meanwhile, the Eagles’ last offer to the 29-year-old was reportedly worth less over the next four years than Austin Hooper‘s four-year, $42MM Browns deal. Of course, it’s important to note the framing of those numbers – Ertz has two years to go on his current deal, so the mashup of old money and new money isn’t exactly fair.

Ertz is set to earn base salaries of $6.7MM and $8.3MM in 2020 and ’21, the final seasons of the five-year, $42.5MM pact he inked in 2016. Overall, that deal averages out to $8.5MM/year, which ranks seventh among TEs. With no guaranteed money to go, Ertz wants a raise, and additional security.

Last year, Ertz racked up 88 catches for 916 yards and six touchdowns – an especially solid stat line given the Birds’ up-and-down season. In 2018, he notched career highs in just about every category with 116 receptions (also an NFL record for TEs), 1,163 yards, and eight touchdowns. A Pro Bowler in each of his last three seasons, Ertz has 525 grabs, 5,743 receiving yards, and 35 touchdowns to his credit across seven pro seasons. Meanwhile, he’s led the team in catches and receiving yards in each of the last four seasons.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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53 comments on “Zach Ertz: I’m Not Sure If Eagles Want Me Here

  1. He has two years left and is coming off of a down year. Truthfully I believe the Eagles trade him after this year and hand over the cash to Goedert.

      • mcmillankmm

        Hard to evaluate whether it was a down year or not….it doesn’t scream significant raise to me though (or the Philly FO apparently)

      • In 2018 Ertz racked up 88 catches for 916 yards and six touchdowns – an especially solid stat line given the Birds’ up-and-down season. In 2018, he notched career highs in just about every category with 116 receptions (also an NFL record for TEs), 1,163 yards, and eight touchdowns.

        From here on out his production will go down. Why? He’s getting older, he’s sharing time with another quality TE, and the Eagles invested heavily at the WR position.

        His next contract is based on predicted future production and not what he’s previously done. It’s common sense.

        • Oooof

          Except he’s once again slated to be their number one receiver as well as one of the top tight ends in football in the season that’s about to start.

    • crosseyedlemon

      Perhaps Howie is getting tired of always seeing the Cowboys get the drama award.

  2. emac22

    I’m choking back the tears here.

    The guy just gives and gives and gives and they still wont pay him like his the greatest player in team history.

    It isn’t right!

    • Oooof

      This year he’s slated to be the 13th highest paid tight end in the NFL, at a salary that wouldn’t crack the top 40 receiver numbers. He had the 12th most targets in the NFL last year, even though he only played 15 games. He led Eagles in targets by more than 200 and receptions by 30. He was their number one receiver in addition to being one of the best tight ends in football. He’s making less than half what he’s worth. Worse players hold out because of much less unfair deals and get raises.

      • The problem is, it’s business. Ertz’s best days are behind him. He’s still a very good TE, and very productive. However, paying him a lot of cash will only hurt the team in the long-run. It’s better to move on from a player a year too early than a year too late. He’s not sitting out the season, so there’s little reason to pay him and hurt their future.

        (For all those fans who say “he’s the best receiver they have, pay him” will also be the first to complain when the Eagles can’t do other things because the contract the needlessly gave him backfired.)

        • Oooof

          His best days may be behind him, but they need whatever days he has this year. That business is paying the rotting corpse of Alshon more than him. That business is paying DeSean Jackson more. Part of running a business is not alienating your most valued employees when you still need them. They can pay him more without mangling their future, and they should.

          • Part of signing a long term deal is what you say; fear of the unknown. At the time pundits and fans were wondering aloud why the Eagles were giving him so much money.

            Penalizing the team for correctly reading the market ahead of time is irrational.

            • Oooof

              The team has already gotten huge surplus value out of that contract. Now he’s being a squeaky wheel for a contract more like what he’s earned. That’s how this tends to work in the NFL. Maybe you saw some pundits, but I don’t recall anyone smart criticizing that deal when they signed it.

    • CowboysoldierFTW

      Donovan McNab and Brian Westbrook may disagree with him being the best player in Eagles history.

  3. Browns FO did well to sign Hooper and Myles Garrett before the market blew up for these positions… I know Hooper isn’t the caliber of Kelce, Ertz or Kittle, but still, probably a top 10 TE that was a position of need. And with all that salary cap space, made sense to pull the trigger on him… Ertz would do really well in the open market imo. Eagles should probably trade him since they have Goedert.

    • I believe you’ll see that happen after this season, since Goedert will be heading into the last year of his deal, too.

      No doubt that the Eagles have serious salary cap issues after this season. The team will not be able to afford two top-flight TEs.

  4. sports is life

    Ertz to Buffalo for a lineman and pick solve both teams needs. Buffalo is loaded with depth on the OL

    • crosseyedlemon

      If the Bills are loaded with OL depth why were they 24th in scoring efficiency last season? Would you really want the Eagles to give up Ertz just to get Ryan Bates back?

  5. mcmillankmm

    Ertz is older than Kittle (and most feel Kittle is better), feel like he’s not acknowledging his value if he thinks he deserves Kittle’s contract. But that’s his agent as well.

    • Oooof

      Kittle’s dead cap money next year is $10 million more than Ertz’s. I’m not saying he deserves Kittle money, but Kittle’s money demonstrates how underpaid Ertz is.

    • Steve Nebraska

      Ertz also is a mediocre blocker. Kittle is one of the best blocking TEs in football. The 49ers run their passing game through Kittle. The Eagles have Alshon, DeSean, drafted Reagor in the 1st, and Goddard. If Ertz thinks he is getting Kittle money he is being poorly advised.

  6. imindless

    Massively overrated. Can be replaced, why complain on a deal YOU signed? Your 29 and they have you for 2 more years likely your best years they would be dumb to sign you longer.

    • 116 receptions two years ago, 88 last year, and he’s massively overrated?

      Massively overrated are the LA Dodgers and LA Rams.

      • imindless

        Thing is he is already signed so I wouldn’t even entertain this guy whos only had one year over 1000 yards. Easy pass, play out your contract and sign elsewhere. Not sure what your smoking but dodgers are the best team in baseball unlike the phillies lmao

        • The Dodgers are the best regular season team in baseball, but are not built for the playoffs. They will once again falter in October.

            • imindless

              The astros trash can has entered the chatroom* Everyone outside you to accepts that 2017 was the dodgers chip, but I guess you guys would rather be in denial and support cheaters lol

              • Astros won game 7 in LA. Don’t act like a trash can is why the dodgers lost… any other excuses for the past decade of chances?

                • Ak185

                  The guy may be jaded, but the Astros outright cheated. Excessively. Don’t tell him to quit making excuses.

                  Why the hell are we talking about this anyway? I disagree with what imindless’ original point was, but getting into this irrelevant discussion because of his profile picture is stupid and pointless.

    • sports is life

      Why did Bell hold out? That’s kind of a silly statement. He literally was Wentz’s #1 target last year

  7. Regi Green

    2 years remaining on his contract,and they have the option to franchise him after that.Their,and the leagues cap situation the next few seasons leaves them in a funny situation with any negotiations.And on top of that,their offensive and defensive lines are both aging,so there’s gonna be work to do in those areas over the next few years.

  8. busta37

    No where as good as kittle or Kelce. These guys are special at the position and I don’t feel ertz is. He is more 2nd tier tight end.

    • Appalachian_Outlaw

      Yeah, I wouldn’t offer him anything close to Kittle or Kelce. He’s just not on that tier. He is very, very good, however. If they’re willing to go 4 years, I feel like 4yr/48m would probably be fair. If he’s not into it, let him finish out the two and see if he can find another team that’s interested at 15m. I suspect he will not, though.

      • He and Kelce were the top tier until Kittles came along.

        Who holds the record for most receptions by a TE in a single season? ERTZ! “Anything close?” Give me a f’ing break.

        Let’s see if Kittles can maintain his level of play.

    • Oooof

      Calling him a second tier tight end only makes sense if you’re calling Kittle and Kelce their own tier. He’s the number one receiver on a team trying to win and he’s making less money than guys like Jared Cook and Greg Olsen.

      • sports is life

        Exactly, he is one of the biggest reason for such a positive season for the Eagles last year

  9. goldenmisfit

    This is not the first time we have heard the Eagles trying to lowball one of their own players and it will not be the last. Zach is easily one of the top five tight ends in all of the NFL and should be paid as such. The fact they offered him a contract that is less than even Austin Hooper‘s is laughable to say the least. If it was not for him being a security blanket over the middle of the field Philadelphia does not even get to that Super Bowl let alone win it. Now, this is coming from a Cowboys fan and I got all the respect in the world for Zack and he deserves much better than he’s getting in Philadelphia. Not saying he should get the same or more than George and Travis but definitely in that ballpark. Thinking somewhere in the area of 12-13 a year not eight. Also, he is just looking for security being the last two years are not guaranteed and the Eagles have shown they could care less which really shows you what loyalty, hard work and dedication means in Philadelphia. When everything else was going wrong on both sides of the ball there was one position they never had to worry about in that position was tight end. Any team that considers himself a franchise committed to excellence would have paid this guy long before now.

    • Polish Hammer

      Slow down, he still has two years to go and it’s all about negotiating, both sides will move off their prices.

      • Exactly. We also can’t forget that Ertz suffered a kidney laceration at the end of last season. He’s about to hit 30, so there’s also the possibility he starts to decline.

        Teams draft an heir apparent for a reason.

    • Regi Green

      Oh stop it!!! His contract was top 5 before this offseason.His contract runs through his age 32 season.They already paid him.They have a younger option,who hasn’t been paid yet.2 of those “committed to excellence” franchises that pushed the te market up were the Cleveland Browns and the San Francisco 49ers.Sure,the 9ers are coming off a super bowl appearance,but averaged 5 wins the 5 years before that,and they’ve pretty much been rebuilding since Steve Young.And ofcourse the browns are the browns.The Eagles are 50mil over the cap next year,they’ll have more pressing needs than making sure Ertz’ deal catches back up to the market 3 years after he signed it.

    • Ak185

      Maybe not a second, as Belichick won’t give that up, but this trade could work. There is one condition, though-Belichick will have to find the QB he wants to make a Super Bowl run with first. Ertz’s age makes him a contending move, and Belichick does not have a franchise QB right now.

      Could Cam be that guy? There is a possibility, if he continues to play well and stays healthy, that he could give New England a window of, say, three years. That’s my guess at a best case scenario. What is much more likely is that Belichick finds a new QB to build around and that will take a couple of years at the minimum, by which time Ertz will be past 30 and possibly off the Eagles’ roster.

      Basically, if New England makes that move now, it says that Belichick believes that they can contend within the two years that Ertz has left, and that he has a QB able to take advantage of Ertz’s receiving talent. Belichick would not trade for an older player looking for a new contract that he is likely unwilling to provide.

  10. Simmons>Russ

    Ertz is the third best TE in the league IMO and should get 12mil per season

  11. phillyballers

    When they gave him the deal they clearly showed they wanted him. The explosion of NFL QB contracts will mean the rest of the team ain’t getting a payday.

    • Ak185

      And if Goedert gets targeted over Ertz the way that he was (and delivers as he did), Ertz’s case gets much harder. There was noticeable frustration from Ertz on that incomplete pass later in the game, and on Wentz’s face as well. That could be natural consternation from a missed play, but many of the Eagles seemed frustrated on Sunday.

  12. hope15171

    Go figure….. Roseman doesn’t want to give up money….. Typical Greedy ***

  13. Polish Hammer

    This report sounds so out of character for Ertz, Howie and Lurie I’m not really buying it.

  14. Your signers remorse isn’t anyone else’s fault. Maybe you shouldn’t have shortchanged yourself before the TE market exploded.

    • Polish Hammer

      Really? He has two full seasons left on a good contract. There’s 22-25 starters and everyone wants paid at the top of their position. This griping is dumb, it’s a win-win no matter what happens. Either he gets paid in Philly or moves on and will definitely make more elsewhere, and for Philly they either keep him or have Goeddert slide right into the #1 role that he is obviously capable of.

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