Though the sentimental among us surely wanted to see Zach Ertz finish his career in Philadelphia, the Eagles made a difficult choice—but ultimately the right one—by trading him to Arizona for rookie Tay Gowan and a 2022 fifth-rounder. Ertz, who tallied the go-ahead touchdown in Philadelphia’s Super Bowl triumph over New England in 2017, will finish his Eagles tenure with the second-most catches in team history, trailing only Hall-of-Famer Harold Carmichael. His 116 receptions in 2018 double as both a franchise record and the most ever by an NFL tight end.
Besides Ertz’s contract uncertainty and the belief his best years are behind him, another motivating factor in Friday’s trade was a desire to see more of Dallas Goedert, a former second-round pick who has spent much of his career playing in Ertz’s shadow. That’s no longer the case as Goedert, when healthy (a positive COVID test kept him from suiting up Thursday against the Bucs), will absorb the role vacated by Ertz as Philadelphia’s unquestioned TE1. It’s Goedert’s time to shine as the Eagles now get to see whether he’s deserving of a long-term deal ahead of next year’s free agency.
“There’s no secret that that’s obviously something here going forward that we have to address,” GM Howie Roseman relayed to beat reporter Zach Berman of The Athletic. “Getting him in a role where it’s not just sharing time and he’s the guy, because in terms of our bargaining power, there’s going to be no discount on Dallas Goedert. We know that, so we want to get as much information and give him as much opportunity to take over that and see him in that role as much as possible, as opposed to guessing on it.”
You’d think four years would be enough of a sample size to determine whether Goedert is, in fact, “the guy,” but Roseman’s comments suggest the team is still doing its due diligence, preferring to see how the 26-year-old fares as a starter before backing up the Brink’s truck at his doorstep.
It’s hard to imagine the Eagles letting Goedert walk after pulling off a trade of this magnitude, though if he disappoints down the stretch, perhaps the team would afford a longer look to converted quarterback Tyree Jackson, who impressed at training camp this summer before landing on injured reserve.