For the Philadelphia Eagles, the Week 17 loss to the Washington Football Team marked the completion of their 2020 season. For tight end Zach Ertz, it could be the end of his tenure with the team that drafted him in 2013.
On Monday, while addressing the media, Ertz was overcome with emotion when speaking on his experience in Philadelphia and the reality that Sunday could have been his last time suiting up in an Eagles uniform.
“I think this city is the best city to play for and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience," Ertz said while holding back tears.
“City means a lot to me, means a lot to my family, and I’m thankful. I’m thankful for all you guys over the years. I know you guys got a really tough job in this city, and early in my career, I took a lot of things personally," Ertz said. "And just over the years I started, I put myself in your shoes that you guys got so much to do… I really appreciate all of you over the years. And, thank you.”
The tight end has been one of the Eagles' most consistent pass-catchers during his eight seasons playing for the team. A three-time Pro Bowler and member of the 2017 Super Bowl team, Ertz recorded at least 75 receptions in five straight seasons from 2015-2019, including 116 in 2018.
Dealing with injuries and inconsistent quarterback play in 2020, Ertz saw his production take a dip with just 36 receptions for 335 yards and one touchdown in 11 games.
The Eagles enter 2021 needing to find a way to shed money to help with the salary cap and inject some youth into the roster. Ertz, 30, has just one year left on his current deal, but the cap hit of $12.4 million may not be worth it for Philadelphia. Shopping him in the offseason seems likely.
There is no reason to believe the tight end can't continue to produce next season, but signs point toward his time with the Eagles coming to an end.