Considered an NFL elite, tight end, Zach Ertz has become a credible threat in football.
Ertz joined the Philadelphia Eagles during the Chip Kelly-Mike Vick era in 2013 as the 35th overall draft pick. After spending nearly a decade in the City of Brotherly Love, he has earned his keep.
The Eagle’s No. 1 Receiving Option: A Career in Review
Since the beginning, Ertz has been nothing short of consistent. With a career total of 525 receptions and 5,743 receiving yards, he has produced 70+ receptions and 800+ receiving yards every season from 2015-2019.
In 2014, he caught a career-high 15 receptions for 115 receiving yards against the Washington Redskins. He exceeded that in 2015, with nine receptions for 152 yards against the New York Giants.
Ertz became the starting tight end for the Philadelphia Eagles 2016 regular season and was swiftly regarded as their go-to offensive playmaker. That year, he set an NFL record for the most receptions in a single season by a tight end with 116, bypassing Jason Witten.
Most notably, Ertz has produced more receptions than any other NFL tight end in their first seven seasons. He currently ranks 2nd on the Eagles’ all-time receptions list, behind Pro Football Hall of Famer Harold Carmichael.
On a higher note for Philly, he also scored the winning touchdown during his first Super Bowl, creating history for the Eagles franchise.
The three-time Pro Bowler recently ranked second for the most valuable tight end in the last three seasons, trailing as a silent-killer to Travis Kelce.
What the Future Holds for Zach Ertz and the Eagles
Going into the 2020-21 season, two years remain on Ertz’s contract. Earlier this year, rumors flew as Ertz reportedly turned down a new deal. This left many to wonder if he would become a potential trade.
Many also questioned whether fellow tight end, Dallas Goedert’s contract would play a role in Ertz’s future. With Goedert entering his third year of this four-year contract, curiosity grew over whether the younger player would prevail.
Ertz was reported stating, “I want to be here forever, hope I’m able to be here forever, and whatever they decide they’re going to decide.”
General manager, Howie Roseman, did not think there was an immediate worry about Ertz’s future. He remains a Philadelphia Eagle to this day, as he prepares for the upcoming season.
More Appreciation for Ertz
The release of the Madden NFL 2021 ratings had many heads turn across the nation when Ertz was ranked fourth behind Rob Gronkowski. Now playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Gronkowski didn’t even have a 2019 season. Many took to social media to voice their opinions, and Ertz himself was among them, leaving many to wonder why he is so underappreciated.
— Zach Ertz (@ZERTZ_86) July 17, 2020
Even a 7- and 8-point difference between Ertz and tight ends Travis Kelce and George Kittle is a bit insane.
Ertz has unquestionably seen an increase in production throughout his career. In Fantasy, he is one of four tight ends in the league to average at least 14.0 PPR points per game and has accomplished this three years in a row.
A Team Player
Zach Ertz is a valuable asset individually and in a team effort on the field. Ertz has scored 35 touchdowns for the Eagles and has become a reliable target for quarterback Carson Wentz.
The Wentz-Ertz combo is unprecedented in the NFC East. In 2019, Ertz was targeted by Wentz 135 times, an average of 8.4 per game.
Despite the opposing defenses’ understanding that Ertz is an exceptional player, he is a near-impossible matchup. His talent and athleticism to route specific plays allow him to get open down the field consistently.
The 2020-21 season should be no different. Ertz is expected to produce 80 receptions for 933 yards and six touchdowns.
He not only has a chance to go into the Eagles Hall of Fame but the NFL Hall of Fame. In the interim, there is no reason to think number 86 won’t continue to thrive.