Contract extension talks began in 2019 for tight end Zach Ertz. Despite signing a five-year $42.5 million deal ($21 million guaranteed) in 2016, the 30-year-old made far less money than his fellow TEs across the league. Ertz not only put up better statistics but has become one of the best tight ends in the NFL since the Eagles drafted him in 2013.
Now, after Ertz played the worst season of his career, teammate Dallas Goedert could be receiving the extension Zach Ertz hoped for.
HAS THE BRIDGE ALREADY BEEN BURNED?
Following lucrative deals for tight ends George Kittle and Travis Kelce, an extension regarding Ertz in 2019 would have placed him around $12 million annually. The tight end reportedly turned that down. However, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, further offseason discussions included less guaranteed money than initially offered. Moreover, they were a decline from Ertz’s previous extension in 2016.
From 2016 to 2019, Zach Ertz recorded 356 receptions for 3,719 yards and 26 touchdowns. He ranked among the top three tight ends in the league in 2017, 2018, and 2019. But when it comes to salary, Ertz ranks sixth.
Highest Paid NFL Tight Ends
- George Kittle (San Francisco 49ers): $15 million
- Travis Kelce (Kansas City Chiefs): $14.3 million
- Jonnu Smith (New England Patriots): $12.5 million
- Hunter Henry (New England Patriots): $12.5 million
- Austin Hooper (Cleveland Browns): $10.5 million
- Zach Ertz (Philadelphia Eagles): $8.5 million
- Rob Gronkowski (Tampa Bay Buccaneers): $8 million
- Jimmy Graham (Chicago Bears): $8 million
- Darren Waller (Las Vegas Raiders): $7.5 million
- Tyle Higbee (Los Angeles Rams): $7.3 million
With added animosity and an excess salary cap of $22.8 million, the Eagles paused extension discussions. Maybe not surprising whatsoever, was that Ertz played the worst season of his career in 2020 after an extension didn’t pan out. In 11 games, he totaled 36 receptions for 335 yards and one touchdown.
DALLAS GOEDERT’S EXTENSION: ERTZ’S DECLINED OFFER BECOMES GOEDERT’S TREASURE
Following the 2020 season and Ertz’s emotionally cryptic press conference, trade rumors have been on the horizon. The most recent of these rumors has been the Buffalo Bills.
During an appearance on the National Football Show, play-by-play analyst Merrill Reese provided an update.
Reese stated, “The word today [June 30] is that they [Philadelphia Eagles] are very close to a deal and I don’t have any inside information to substantiate this, but the word is that they’re close to a deal with Buffalo for Zach Ertz.”
Without Ertz on Philadelphia’s roster, 26-year-old Dallas Goedert would move up to TE1, and it seems as if the team is already preparing for this. Last month, Goedert spoke about the possibility of an extension and what that would look like.
Goedert stated, “I think the contract stuff is still in discussions a little bit. I’m not too worried about that. I would love to be in Philly forever, and having the second contract is the ultimate goal.”
Philadelphia feels the same.
Earlier this week, John McMullen of SI.com’s EagleMaven stated, “What we do know is that the Eagles are planning for life after Ertz and trying to work out a (deal) with Goedert. More so, the team has informed Ertz that Goedert is going to get the lion’s share of snaps at the position no matter what.”
Though Goedert is set to become a free agent after the 2021 season, the Eagles could potentially use the 2022 franchise tag to retain him. A long-term deal for Goedert would total approximately $12-14 million annually, placing him in the NFL’s top four highest-paid tight ends.
Since the Eagles drafted Dallas Goedert in 2018, he has completed 137 receptions for 1,465 yards and 12 touchdowns.