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NFL Free Agency 2022: Former Eagles TE Zach Ertz stays with Cardinals

Eagles legend Zach Ertz remains in Arizona.

Just a day before the start of the NFL’s legal tampering period, Ertz and the Cardinals agreed to a three-year contract to keep him in Arizona.

According to NFL Networkthe three-year deal is worth $31.65m and $17.5m guaranteed, giving Ertz an average annual salary of $10.55m, keeping him among the top 10 highest-paid wingers in the game. the NFL.

If the 31-year-old Ertz had reached free agency this week, it was expected he would be one of the best tight ends in the open market, especially after a few were hit with tags from franchise last week.

Ertz played the final 11 games of the 2021 season with the Cardinals after a trade on Oct. 15. In those 11 games, Ertz had 56 catches for 574 yards and 3 touchdowns.

The trade dwindled on Oct. 15, when the Eagles sent one of their all-time greats to Arizona for a 2022 fifth-round pick and young cornerback Tay Gowan.

It was a long-awaited job, but it didn’t make things any easier at the time.

After the trade ended, Ertz held a lengthy Zoom press conference to say goodbye to a city that has become his home for the previous nine seasons. It’s pretty rare for a departing player to hold a press, but it was important to Ertz.

“One of the things that kind of irritated me the last few days is when it was happening and people started to know, well, you know you’re going home, you’re going back to California , at Julie,” Ertz said in October. “This is my home. Philadelphia is my home. And it was tough. Just to express that to people that I love this place. I’ve always said that. and I loved this place. I did I do my best every day and I can go knowing that, and it won’t be the last time you see me here in this city.

Ertz and his wife, Julie, still live in Philadelphia during the offseason, and their foundation is still active in the city.

Ertz’s trade to the Cardinals ended a long saga between Ertz and the Eagles and they managed to end on good terms. For a long time it didn’t look like that was going to happen. Ahead of the 2020 season, the two parties could not come to a contractual agreement and this created some animosity between Ertz and the team. Then Ertz had a slow season in 2020 and it really seemed like it was over.

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But Ertz showed up for training camp in 2021 and played the first six games of the 2021 season with the Eagles, including his last game knowing he was going to be traded.

The trade ended up working for Ertz and for the Eagles. The trade gave Ertz a chance to be a true No. 1 tight end again and it gave Dallas Goedert a chance to step up to that spot in Philly. The month after Ertz was traded, the Eagles signed Goedert to a four-year contract extension through the 2025 season. That contract is worth $57 million with $34.9 million guaranteed.

Goedert was clearly the future of the position for the Eagles.

Ertz had one hell of a run in Philadelphia, including three straight Pro Bowls from 2017-19, five straight seasons with over 800 receiving yards and a game-winning touchdown in Super Bowl LII.

Ertz finished his career with the Eagles with 579 catches for 6,267 yards and 38 touchdowns. He fell just short of Harold Carmichael’s franchise reception record of 589.

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