No way around it, Zach Ertz is nowhere near the player he used to be.
The Philadelphia Eagles have gotten off to a terribly slow start this year. Offensively, Zach Ertz has simply been unable to produce. At 29 years old, Ertz should still be in his prime but this year, the numbers show otherwise.
The blame is all on Ertz right now. All of the blame that is usually put on others to defend Ertz is currently gone. Ertz has been frustrated with his contract negotiations which might have something to do with his performances on the field. If it continues to happen, you very well could see Ertz at 30th Street Station looking for a train ticket out of the city.
Ertz is set to make around $6.5 million this season and $8.25 in 2021. With animated discussions between him and Eagles GM Howie Roseman, it would seem very likely that Ertz is gone at the end of the season. This is not a contract issue though, it is very clear from a number of angles the blame is all on Ertz declining as a player.
It seemed that overnight, Ertz went from a top 5 Tight End in the NFL to mid-tier, and not even the best Tight End on his own roster. Dallas Goedert has played 2.5 fewer games than Ertz and only trails him in yards by about 40 yards.
One of the main arguments for Ertz is that he was overshadowed by Dallas Goedert and that was the reason why he wasn’t receiving as many targets. However, without Goedert on the field, Ertz only totaled 5 receptions for 15 yards. FIFTEEN YARDS.
I can’t even believe I’m writing this, but JJ Arcega Whiteside had more receiving yards this week than Ertz in the last two weeks combined.
Without Goedert, one could say that meant the defense specifically targeted Ertz but again that was not the case. There are never any double teams or anything out of the ordinary for defenses covering Ertz as they would any other average Tight End. If Ertz was still the player he was in 2018, or even 2019 he would be killing those matchups and attract double teams to help out a practice squad wide receiving core.
But without that ability, he is completely negated from the game and is zero help to any other offensive weapon on the field.
From the Bang Bang Bird Gang:
Mentally he is not all there at points. Looking at Pittsburgh, Wentz’s only interception (I don’t count that late one, it was a punt) was all on Ertz. Ertz was supposed to cut inside but was easily bumped off his route, never made the cut, and it led to a Pittsburgh turnover and fantastic field positioning . With the strength and route-running he used to have, that should never have happened to Ertz but again here we are. It doesn’t even look like he’s trying out there and it drives me absolutely insane.
There is no doubt the clock is running up on Zach Ertz. Howie knew this day was coming the moment he drafted Dallas Goedert. Ertz is about to turn 30 and is playing like he is 35. His exit from Philadelphia will likely happen this summer. We are thankful for his prior years of performance but between him, Desean Jackson, and Jason Peters the Eagles need to let go of the past.
Mandatory Credit: Eric Espada Getty Images