Zach Ertz last week admitted his frustration about the lack of a new contract and even said that while he wanted to be with the Eagles long-term, he was no longer sure the Eagles felt the same way.
Those comments came after Ertz and the Eagles recently halted contract discussions.
But those public comments from Ertz isn’t where this story ends. Because according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Ertz and GM Howie Roseman got into a “very heated discussion” after one practice last week.
Rapoport doesn’t say whether that discussion came before or after Ertz’s public comments on Thursday.
“Well, it got even more interesting, I’m told, late after one practice this week,” Rapoport said. “Zach Ertz and general manager Howie Roseman got into it, a very heated discussion, I’m told, one that was witnessed by several players. An airing of grievances of sorts. Some of that frustration coming right out into the open.”
This doesn't sound good.
But a little later, Rapoport said the discussion, which included owner Jeff Lurie, ended on a positive note. I've heard it ended up being a constructive conversation and both sides agreed to focus on the upcoming game.
Ertz, 29, admitted that he let his frustration about his lack of a contract get the best of him for a couple days in training camp. Now, it seems like the halted contract talks are still at the front of his mind as he prepares for the 2020 season.
Ertz is under contract through the 2021 season but is certainly underpaid. His current deal comes with an average per year of $8.5 million.
This offseason, George Kittle and Travis Kelce completely reset the tight end market. Kittle got a five-year, $75 million extension ($15M APY) from the 49ers and Kelce got a four-year extension worth $57.24 million ($14.3M).
“I don’t want to get into the exact details,” Ertz said, “but I don’t think it should be that hard to get a deal done now.”
My colleague Reuben Frank looked at this situation and thinks Ertz has every right to be upset. Roob says the Eagles are low-balling one of their greatest players.
Ertz was drafted by the Eagles in 2013 and he has been playing at a high level ever since. He has been to the last three Pro Bowls and has been the Eagles’ leading receiver the last four seasons.
But the news this week certainly gives us all some doubt that he’ll be an Eagle for his entire career.
“I’ll never let the thought of playing in another jersey creep in because I don’t know if I can picture that thought in my brain yet,” Ertz said. “I don’t even want to get there yet because I don’t want to shut the door. I think when you start having those thoughts, then you’re not going to give 100 percent. That’s something that I will never do. I will always give 100 percent for this team and this city because of how much I love it here.”