Eagles Insult Zach Ertz with ‘Backloaded’ Contract Offer: Report

Zach Ertz

Getty Eagles Pro Bowl TE Zach Ertz is on the career trajectory for qualifying for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The Eagles and Zach Ertz are reportedly done “talking for a while” about a contract extension.

It sounds like the situation is getting messy in Philadelphia after negotiations came to an abrupt halt, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. The report states the team offered Ertz less guaranteed money than their previous offer from last November, the same one the Pro Bowl tight end turned down. This new “backloaded offer,” per Rapoport, would have paid Ertz less cash over the next four seasons annually than Austin Hooper. He is due $42 million during that span.

The Eagles resumed contract talks with Ertz on Aug. 25, four days after the 29-year-old sat out of a training camp practice. That move fueled speculation from NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo that perhaps Ertz was faking an injury to avoid participating in a live tackling period.

There have been heightened expectations to get a deal done following the bank-breaking extensions given to both George Kittle ($15 million per year) and Travis Kelce ($14.3 million). They are the two highest-paid tight ends in the league, with Ertz currently sitting at No. 8 at $8.5 million per year.

The Eagles’ second-round pick (35th overall) from 2013 has expressed his interest to remain in Philly and retire in midnight green. What kind of money does he want? Maybe in the neighborhood of $12-14 million annually.

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Ertz Channels Inner Kobe Bryant in Contract Talks

There was a report floating around last March that Ertz turned down an extension from the Eagles in the middle of the 2019 season. While the 29-year-old wouldn’t confirm it, he did make it clear that his desire is to remain in Philadelphia.

He wants to follow in Kobe Bryant’s footsteps and never wear another jersey — in this case, that jersey is midnight green.

“I made it clear from the moment I got here as a rookie to the moment I signed my second contract that my goal was to be like Kobe Bryant,” Ertz said, “and play for one organization the rest of my career. I’ve made that known and I’ll let my agent and Howie [Roseman] handle the rest. But I know for sure I want to be here for the rest of my career.”

Ertz isn’t blind to the fact that the Eagles are always looking toward the future, to upgrading and get younger all over the field. The organization used a second-round pick in 2018 on his possible replacement, Dallas Goedert. While the Eagles love causing match-up nightmares with their menacing two tight-end sets, it’s not be lost on anyone that Ertz’s future could be in limbo.

“Everyone every year is playing for their job, that’s just the way it is in the NFL,” Ertz said. “I’ve never gone into an offseason thinking that I’ve made it or that my job is safe. It doesn’t matter if I have Brent [Celek] in front of me or Dallas [Goedert] behind me, I always felt like I had to earn my job each and every year.”

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