At this point, does anyone actually know what’s going on with Zach Ertz and the Philadelphia Eagles? All throughout the offseason, it’s felt like a foregone conclusion that Ertz would be gone. But here we are, under two months away from training camp, and Ertz is still an Eagle.
The trade market clearly hasn’t played out how Ertz thought it would. The Eagles haven’t gotten any significant trade packages for the former All-Pro tight end, and now that it’s clear the team won’t need to shed his $8.5 million cap hit to get under the cap heading into the season, they’re in no rush to part ways with someone who’s just one year removed from a Pro Bowl season.
With the uncertainty surrounding the Ertz situation and if another team actually values him enough to trade for him, it’s worth asking if Ertz would just be better off suiting up for the Eagles this season and playing out the final year of his contract.
The beef between Ertz and the Eagles front office can be traced back to last offseason, when Ertz was vocal about wanting a new contract. He even questioned whether or not the Eagles wanted him around anymore. The contract never came and Ertz put forth his worst statistical season as a pro, totaling 36 receptions for 335 yards and 1 touchdown.
Now, there’s no chance Ertz will get paid like a top tight end in the league — one of the main reasons he wanted a new contract in the first place. Ertz is set to make $12.4 million this year if he remains with the Eagles, a large price tag for someone who’s over the age of 30 and coming off a terrible season.
If Ertz were to get his wish and play for another team next season, he won’t be making close to same amount of money. Maybe he’ll play for a contender — that’s the ideal outcome for Ertz — but going to a contender could mean that his targets drop, given the amount of playmakers that will probably be on said contending team.
The bottom line here is this, it’s in Ertz’s best interest to remain in Philly and play out the final year of his contract. He’s going to be valued here in this offense, which can’t be said for other teams around the league. Like I said, if other teams valued him, they’d give up nice value for his services.
Here, he’ll have the opportunity to play in an offense that is going to target tight ends heavily in the passing game. He won’t be the starter, so when he’s used, Nick Sirianni can line him up in the slot or just off the line of scrimmage in clear passing situations. Ertz will be able to play to his strengths as a receiver. With Goedert as the TE1, he’ll be the guy lined up on the line of scrimmage most of time.
If all goes according to plan and Ertz has a nice bounce back year in midnight green, he’ll walk next offseason and get a nice pay day in free agency. Which, from everything we’ve heard thus far, is what Ertz ultimately wants.
This far into the offseason, there’s no sense in trying to force your way out anymore. Ertz is under contract and should try to settle any differences he may have with the organization. It’ll benefit not only him, but the team as a whole.
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