The Eagles on Friday morning traded away one of their all-time great players.
Zach Ertz is now an Arizona Cardinal.
The Eagles traded the 30-year-old tight end for cornerback Tay Gowan and a 2022 fifth-round draft pick.
"Thanks for everything," he said to the city of Philadelphia and Eagles fans after the deal.
Ertz on Thursday night played the final game of his Eagles career at Lincoln Financial Field and was noticeably emotional as he left the field. Maybe he knew. He was also one of the captains sent out for the coin toss before the game.
Ertz finishes his Eagles career with 579 catches for 6,267 yards and 38 touchdowns. He will fall just shy of Harold Carmichael’s franchise receptions record of 589.
This trade ends what has been a long saga between the Eagles and Ertz.
Before the 2020 season, Ertz and the Eagles were unable to reach terms on a long-term contract extension, which created some animosity between the two sides and even led to a blowup between Ertz and general manager Howie Roseman at the NovaCare Complex. Then Ertz had a down year in 2020 and said a tearful goodbye to fans in January. Only, he stuck around.
All offseason, it looked like Ertz was going to get traded. But no trade happened and eventually, he showed up to training camp and played in six games for the Eagles this season.
Ertz handled the situation very professionally and said fences were mended and apologies issued. It seems like he’ll leave Philadelphia without much animosity toward the franchise. He always loved the city.
“This is the place I want to be,” Ertz said on Sept. 1. “This is the place I want to retire.”
Ultimately, Ertz won’t get to play his entire career in Philly.
But he leaves behind an impressive legacy. He made three consecutive Pro Bowls, finishes second all-time in career receptions and, oh yeah, he caught the game-winning touchdown in Super Bowl LII.
Ertz was a second-round pick (35th overall) out of Stanford back in 2013. He learned under Brent Celek and eventually became the same type of mentor for 2018 second-round pick Dallas Goedert.
With Ertz gone, the Eagles will likely prioritize getting an extension for Goedert, who is in a contract year and is still thought of as an ascending player in the organization.