Before the Eagles look to add new pieces, they are taking care of their own.
And luckily for Eagles fans, budding superstar tight end Zach Ertz signed a five-year contract extensionkeeping him in South Philly until 2021 (if he serves the length of his contract).
The deal will reportedly make Ertz the fourth-highest paid tight end in football, with a salary in the range of $8.5 million per season with $20 million guaranteed.
“This is best deal for me at the right time,” Ertz, who has amassed over 2,000 yards over the last three seasons, said.”I never playfor money. I want to be the best tight end, I want to be in Philly for a long time.”
Despite battling a groin injury early last season, Ertz still caught 75 passes for 853 yards last year and is undoubtedlygoing to be a huge part of Doug Pederson’s offense in 2016.
Regardless of Pederson, however, Ertzwants to be an Eagle for life.
“One of the things when I look over all of the athletes that I idolize, Kobe Bryant and Jason Witten are two of the athletes that I have looked up to since I was a young kid and those two guys stayed in their cities throughout their entire careers,” the 25-year-old said. “That’s the kind of legacy that I want to leave here in Philadelphia. When people think of great tight ends in Philly, I want to be the guy that they think of. I look at [Brian] Dawkins, I look at Donovan [McNabb], I look at [Brian] Westbrook, and these guys have left lasting legacies in this city. Those are the guys that I want to be mentioned with.”
So who will Ertz’s quarterback next season?
“I think [Sam Bradford is] excited,” Ertz said. “He wants to be in Philadelphia. Whether he’s back here or not, that’s none of my business, honestly. He’s going to do what’s best for him and the Eagles are going to do what’s best for us. But at the end of the day, I think he does want to be here.”
In addition to shoring up Philadelphia’s receiving core, perhaps the reason Ertz went first (extensions are expected for several other players including Lane Johnson this offseason) was to give Bradford another reason to pick the Eagles.
“I’ve played for five quarterbacks now in three years, which seems like a lot, and I want to play with Sam,” Ertz said. “Ultimately, that’s not my decision. But I think the chemistry that I developed with Sam and Jordan [Matthews] developed with Sam, some of the other guys developed, I think it goes a long way. I think you guys saw the success first hand with Donovan [McNabb]. He was a staple on this team for a long time and when you’re able to have that continuity, I think it goes a long way.
“I know a lot of guys would love to have Sam back. Jordan and I in particular were rewarded with Sam playing quarterback. At the same time, we’re very confident in Doug and Howie and Mr. Lurie to decide who is going to be the best person to play quarterback.”