After a half-decade of remaining mostly stagnant, the tight end market finally exploded in August.
Zach Ertz might soon receive his cut of the growth. The Eagles have re-engaged with Ertz’s representation on contract talks, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported.
Ertz’s potential new deal would follow closely behind lucrative extensions for 49ers tight end George Kittle (five years, $75 million) and Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (four years, $57 million).
Those two agreements essentially reset a tight end market that was suppressed by the game’s best at the position, Rob Gronkowski, taking a team-friendly deal in New England back in 2012. Gronkowski’s average-per-year compensation of $9 million stood until Kyle Rudolph signed a four-year deal that just barely exceeded his mark ($9.1 million per year).
Austin Hooper, the free-agent market’s premier player at the position, signed a four-year, $42 million deal that finally started to push the needle a bit in March. Hunter Henry’s franchise tag number squeaked past Hooper’s mark at one year, $10.6 million.
Then, Kittle’s and Kelce’s deal happened, clearing the runway for Ertz. The Eagles tight end has forged an incredibly strong on-field bond with quarterback Carson Wentz, helping him produce career statistics that have Ertz on pace to outperform Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez, as Rapoport noted.
Philadelphia would clearly be wise to secure Ertz long term. With the market-setting deals now out of the way, it appears as if Ertz’s new contract will only be a matter of time.
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