It seems like any momentum behind the Eagles’ locking up Zach Ertz to a long-term contract is gone.
This latest report from NFL Network says the negotiations have stopped for now.
As a reminder, back in March, Hooper signed a four-year, $42 million contract with the Browns. That contract included $23 million guaranteed. Hooper’s APY is $10.5 million.
You can see why Ertz’s camp would see an offer like that as a slap in the face. They just watched Travis Kelce and George Kittle completely reset the tight end market. In fact, it wasn’t until after those two deals were finalized that the Eagles reportedly got back into negotiations with Ertz.
Kittle got a five-year, $75 million contract from the 49ers and Kelce got a four-year, $57.25 million contract from the Chiefs. Kittle’s deal averaged $15 million per season, while Kelce’s averages just over $14.3 million per season.
Ertz is widely considered to be one of the top three tight ends in the NFL, but he still has two years left on a contract that comes with an average of $8.5 million per season.
So you’d have to imagine that Ertz’s representatives were shooting to be near Kittle and Kelce, and it sounds like the Eagles aren’t coming close to that.
It also makes sense that the Eagles would try to backload any contract extension for Ertz. They are in a precarious cap situation in the next couple seasons but they could probably lessen his cap hits early on.
Here are the final two years of Ertz’s contract:
2020: $6.66M base salary, $12.48M salary cap number
2021: $8.25M base salary, $12.47M salary cap number
So it sounds like the Eagles and Ertz’s camp will halt negotiations for now, but will probably resume them at some point.