The Eagles had a decision to make. They made it.
On Friday morning, Howie Roseman traded Zach Ertz to Arizona, which means for the first time in his career, Dallas Goedert is the unquestioned No. 1 tight end in Philly.
Now he’s gotta go earn a new contract.
“From our perspective, the opportunity to see Dallas and to see Dallas in a larger role. And obviously he’s a free agent,” Roseman said on Friday morning. “And there’s no secret that that’s obviously something here going forward that we have to address. Getting him 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 possible as opposed to guessing on it.”
Roseman on Friday morning said the Eagles looked at the situation with Ertz and Goedert and realized they wouldn’t be able to keep both of them as they enter free agency after this season.
Ertz will turn 31 next month and appears to be past his prime. Goedert is 26 and is still viewed as an ascending player.
So taking emotion out of it, the Eagles appear to have made the right decision.
But this is the first time in Goedert’s career that he’ll be the Eagles’ top tight end for an extended period of time without the presence of Ertz. While the Eagles ran some 12 personnel this season, those two split snaps through the first five weeks of this season as they have for the past few years.
“No doubt the majority of the looks are going to go to Dallas,” head coach Nick Sirianni said. “So look forward to his role growing.”
The Eagles and Goedert’s camp were in talks about an extension this summer but as the 2021 season began, Goedert revealed that those talks had stalled. When Goedert addressed his contract situation in early September, he said he thought there would already be a deal in place and there wasn’t.
Over a month later and Goedert is still playing on the final year of his rookie contract as a second-round pick in 2018.
Figuring out a contract for Goedert isn’t easy. Because while he clearly views himself as a top-10 tight end — and many agree — the production hasn’t been there consistently. There are just six tight ends in the NFL making over $10 million per season and Goedert seems destined join that club at some point.
Paying Goedert that much now would be a projection. But if Goedert plays the way they think he’s capable of the rest of this season, perhaps the Eagles would feel more justified.
“I think we know what we have in Dallas Goedert,” Roseman said. “Obviously, when we talk about Zach and how good of a player he is and how great of a player he’s been, to do this, you have to have a confidence level in the guys behind him. We have expectations of Dallas.”
In five games this season, Goedert has 15 catches for 216 yards and 2 touchdowns. He’s been OK but needs to be a bigger part of the offense. Removing Ertz from the equation might help that to happen.
Roseman said he didn’t think the splitting of playing time allowed Ertz or Goedert to get into a rhythm this season. And he also mentioned that Goedert has never been given the chance to play 80% of the Eagles’ snaps week in and week out.
Goedert is going to have that chance in the final 11 games this season.
“We know who he is but at the same time, he has to take that,” Roseman said. “And he has to take that and run with it.”
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