Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert spent the first three years of his NFL career alongside franchise legend Zach Ertz.
Goedert wants Ertz back with the Eagles in 2021.
"We'll take him back here,” Goedert said Wednesday. "The more good players we have here the better. But if it’s not the right situation for him, that’s his decision, ultimately."
Goedert is in a weird spot.
Ertz is one of his closest friends, and he wants him back with the Eagles this coming season. But he also wants him to be somewhere he’s happy.
While on the one hand, Goedert said he and Ertz talk about "anything and everything," he also said he hasn't spoken to Ertz about the breakdown in Ertz's relationship with the Eagles that will likely result in the team moving on from the three-time Pro Bowler.
You can choose to believe him or not.
"I’ve talk to Zach a handful of times," Goedert said. "His situation is tough. I don't know a ton about his relationship, whatever has happened, with the Eagles. That's really none of my business to ever really know. But the conversations we have … we're friends, ya know? We've been here for a while, we've gotten to know each other, we'll talk about anything and everything. I always enjoy talking to him, sitting down. We had lunch a couple times, and we'll just text about anything and everything."
And does Ertz still want to be in Philly, where he's spent his entire eight-year career?
"I don’t feel like that's really my place to even ask him that," Goedert said. "If he would want to tell me, I support him any way he wants, but I don't feel like it's my place to be asking him what his plan is."
In much the same way Ertz backed up Brent Celek for a few years before becoming the Eagles' No. 1 tight end, Goedert has backed up Ertz for much of his first three seasons, although he has put up some big-time numbers along the way and proven to be one of the league's elite blocking tight ends.
Goedert ranked fifth in the NFL last year in receiving yards per game among tight ends, and he's actually averaged only 4.5 fewer yards per game over the last two years than Ertz.
Goedert's emergence has really allowed the Eagles to move on from Ertz, which is a weird dynamic.
"Zach's been an incredible mentor to me," Goedert said. "The way he attacked every day, how much he knew about the playbook, how much he knew about opposing defenses. We'd leave the huddle (when I was a) rookie and he'd tell me what I was doing, who I was going to block, and I'm like, 'We're not even to the line of scrimmage yet.' So just the way he approached everything, the way he was able to dissect defense, the way he was able to attack leverage. Learning from him was one of the biggest blessings of my career."
Even though he says he hasn't talked with Ertz about his future, Goedert did make sure to use the past tense when he spoke about his Eagles career.
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