The timing was probably pure coincidence but that doesn’t make it any less notable.
Because as Zach Ertz and the Eagles’ front office continue to squabble over a contract extension that may or may not happen, Dallas Goedert came out in Week 1 and had the best performance of his young career.
Ertz and Goedert are both under contract for the next two seasons and it’s very possible the Eagles will have to choose one or the other at some point. And if the Eagles can’t work out an extension with Ertz … Goedert has a ton of potential.
While Ertz did catch a touchdown in Sunday’s 27-17 loss, he also dropped a ball he needed to catch on a crucial 4th down — a ball he always catches.
After Ertz admitted he let his contract situation get the best of him a couple days during training camp, it’s fair to wonder if it was on his mind during Sunday’s game, especially after he dropped a concentration ball.
Meanwhile, Goedert had a career day with eight catches for 101 yards and a touchdown of his own. It was the first 100-yard game for an Eagles tight end not named Ertz since 2015, when Brent Celek had his last.
After Ertz came out a few days before the opener and said he wants to be here long-term but he isn’t sure the organization feels the same way, and after we heard about a heated discussion between Ertz and Howie Roseman at the NovaCare Complex, I couldn’t help but think about Goedert. The 2018 second-round pick is still just 25, is already a top 10 tight end in the NFL and now he’s watching Ertz publicly battle the Eagles over his contract.
It seems like it could be a weird spot for Goedert.
“No, not really,” Goedert said. “I think me and Zach have a good relationship. I’m not going to blame him for taking my catches, I don’t think he’s going to blame me for taking his catches. We help each other out a lot on the field and I think our relationship is great. You know, that’s between him and the front office and I don’t think it should be involved between us two.”
But the dynamic has to be strange. Those two are teammates and they seem determined to not make this an Ertz vs. Goedert thing. And — even though they are competitive — it shouldn’t hurt their personal relationship. But in a way, it does kind of seem like the competition between them could end up determining their fates.
Because every time Goedert has a big game like this or Ertz drops a pass, you can almost take one coin out of the Ertz jar and drop it into the Goedert jar.
Of course, right now, Goedert has potential and Ertz has the production.
Because Goedert just had his first 100-yard game and Ertz has 12 in his career to go along with three Pro Bowls and four seasons as the Eagles’ leading receiver. And while Goedert certainly seems to have the talent to become a Pro Bowl receiver, there’s no guarantee he’ll ever become the type of receiving threat Ertz is right now. Remember, even though George Kittle and Travis Kelce are widely considered the top tight ends in the NFL, the numbers Ertz has been putting up are nothing short of spectacular.
But the longer this goes on, the longer Ertz is without a contract extension, the doubt will continue to creep in.
By the time their current contracts are up, Ertz will be 31 and Goedert will be 27.
“I don’t really want to get into contract deals, obviously I have no part of that,” Goedert said. “But he feels passionate that he deserves to get paid and he’s been here for eight years and he’s played really good football all eight years. I don’t think he was throwing any shots at the organization or anything. I think it was just a little bit of his emotions. Obviously, he wants a new contract. And that’s all I got to say about that.”
The problem for Goedert is his play will do a lot of the talking for itself. And if it’s loud enough, it could just change the course of the Eagles’ future.