Eagles

Former Eagles TE Ertz gets a new deal before free agency

Eagles

Eagles legend Zach Ertz is staying in Arizona.

Just a day before the NFL’s legal tampering period begins, Ertz and the Cardinals have agreed to a three-year deal to keep him in Arizona.

According to NFL Network, the three-year deal is worth $31.65 million and $17.5 million guaranteed. That gives Ertz an annual average salary of $10.55 million, keeping him among the top 10 highest-paid tight ends in the NFL.

Had Ertz, 31, reached free agency this week, he was expected to be one of the top tight ends on the open market, especially after a few were hit with franchise tags last week.

Ertz played the final 11 games of the 2021 season with the Cardinals after a trade on Oct. 15. In those 11 games, Ertz had 56 catches for 574 yards and 3 touchdowns.

The trade went down on Oct. 15, when the Eagles shipped one of their all-time great players to Arizona for a 2022 fifth-round draft pick and young cornerback Tay Gowan.

It was a trade that was a long time coming but that didn’t make it any easier at the time.

After the trade went down, Ertz held a lengthy press conference on Zoom to say his goodbyes to a city that became home over the previous nine seasons. It’s pretty rare for an outgoing player to hold a press conference, but it was important to Ertz.

“One of the things that kind of irked me the past couple days is when this was coming about and people started to know about it, well, you know you’re going back home, you’re going back to California, Julie’s home,” Ertz said in October. “This is home. Philadelphia is home. And that was tough. Just to kind of articulate that to people that I love this place. I’ve said it all along. And it’s a great opportunity to be here and I loved it here. I did the best I could every day and I can leave knowing that, and this isn’t going to be the last you’ll see of me here in this city.”

 

Ertz and his wife, Julie, still live in Philadelphia in the offseason. And their foundation still operates in the city.

The trade of Ertz to the Cardinals ended a long saga between Ertz and the Eagles and they were somehow able to end on good terms. For a long time, it didn’t look like that was going to happen. Before the 2020 season, the two sides were unable to reach a contract agreement and that created some animosity between Ertz and the team. Then Ertz had a down season in 2020 and it really looked like it was over.

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But Ertz reported to training camp in 2021 and played the first six games of the 2021 season with the Eagles, including his last game knowing that he was going to be traded.

The trade ended up working out for Ertz and for the Eagles. The trade gave Ertz a chance to be a true No. 1 tight end again and it gave Dallas Goedert a chance to ascend to that spot in Philly. The month after the Ertz trade, the Eagles signed Goedert to a four-year contract extension through the 2025 season. That contract is worth $57 million with $34.9 million guaranteed.

Goedert was clearly the future of the position for the Eagles.

Ertz had a heck of a run in Philly though, including three consecutive Pro Bowls from 2017-2019, five straight seasons with over 800 receiving yards and a game-winning touchdown catch in Super Bowl LII.

Ertz finished his Eagles career with 579 catches for 6,267 yards and 38 touchdowns. He fell just shy of Harold Carmichael’s franchise receptions record of 589.