Although financial details were not released by the Eagles, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported the extension is worth $42.5 million with $20 million guaranteed. Rapoport added that this makes Ertz the NFL's fourth-highest-paid tight end in terms of average and guaranteed money.
Shortly after the Eagles made the announcement, Ertz posted on his blog at ZachErtz86.com:
Nothing could make me happier than knowing I’m going to be a member of the Philadelphia Eagles for years to come.
I love Philly. My family loves it. I love how passionate Eagles fans are about their football, how they live and breathe it. I put a lot of pressure on myself to be the best, and our fans want us to be successful as much as we want to be successful.
What I love more than anything is that fans here in Philadelphia are truly honest with you. If you’re not playing great, you’re going to hear about it. If you’re losing, you’re going to hear about it. If they’re not happy, they’re going to let you know.
I have no issue with that. I know when I’m messing up, and when I do, I feel the same way they do. In life, you have to be accountable. You reap what you sow. When we’re playing great and winning, our fans are the best fans in the world, and there’s no one else in the league I’d rather play for.
That’s the way it should be.
This past season taught me a lot, and tested me in ways I had never imagined. Over the coming offseason, I’ll be getting back to the grind, and working toward next year. I’ve got a lot of motivation. We all do.
I couldn’t be more proud to be putting that work in for the Eagles, and for the city of Philadelphia. My sincerest thank you to Mr. Lurie and the rest of the organization for making this commitment to me. I am committed to doing everything I can to be the best player I can be, and to help our team get back to the Super Bowl and win it.
Let’s get to work.
The 25-year-old entered the 2015 campaign with high expectations, and he ultimately delivered to the tune of 75 receptions for 853 yards and two touchdowns.
Following such a productive year, Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ Advance Media reported that signing the 2013 second-round pick to a new deal became a top priority for the Eagles, along with retaining defensive end Vinny Curry and offensive tackle Lane Johnson.
While the former Stanford standout was only putting up average numbers prior to missing Philly's Week 12 game with a concussion, things changed significantly down the stretch.
According to Reuben Frank of CSNPhilly.com, Ertz set an NFL record for tight ends with 450 receiving yards from Week 14 onward, the most ever by a player at his position over a four-game stretch to close the season.
Per Frank, Ertz chalked it up to finally meshing with quarterback Sam Bradford in his first season under center for the Eagles:
After he came back from his shoulder injury and I came back from my concussion, we didn't want the season to end the way the two of us were playing together.
We kind of came back with a vengeance. We didn't end the season as a team the way we wanted to, but the chemistry was definitely there between the two of us.
While it is easy to get excited about Ertz's play late in 2015, he must adapt well to the changes made by the Eagles in order to match and exceed his production in 2016.
With Chip Kelly out of the picture as head coach, former Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson is now at the helm. Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer weighed in on what Ertz's contract extension means for the Eagles:
Locking Zach Ertz up early another clear indicator that Howie Roseman is large and in charge of entire #Eagles operation.— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) January 25, 2016
Pederson relied heavily on tight end Travis Kelce in 2014 and 2015, as the talented pass-catcher averaged nearly 70 catches for 869 yards and five touchdowns in his two seasons as a regular under Pederson.
That bodes well for Ertz, although he must adjust to a far slower-paced offense than he grew accustomed to under Kelly.
Also, Bradford's status remains somewhat in flux due to his status as a free agent. The assumption is that he will be brought back since Mark Sanchez is the only quarterback under contract, but that certainly isn't guaranteed.
With top-flight receivers such as DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin having parted ways with the team in recent years, Ertz emerged as a go-to guy in the Eagles offense alongside receiver Jordan Matthews.
Regardless of the coaching and quarterback situations, Ertz is a burgeoning talent at tight end who could potentially be Philadelphia's No. 1 option in the passing game.
Based on the new contract he signed, the Eagles agree with that assessment, and they have every intention of continuing to expand his role within the offense.
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