The Eagles head into 2020 knowing that Tight End is among their strongest positions on the roster. While many fans continue to debate over trading Zach Ertz due to the potential of Dallas Goedert, the coaching staff knows exactly what they have in this TE Tandem.
Years ago the Patriots drafted two elite tight ends in the same draft. Many considered Aaron Hernandez a steal due to the fact that he fell to the 4th round. Fortunately for Philly, Howie Roseman saw the same potential in Dallas Goedert. The Eagles front office snagged Goedert in the 2nd round, 49th overall, by jumping the Dallas Cowboys, who were a team with that exact need due to Jason Witten’s retirement.
But Goedert is now entering his third year and Ertz may need a new deal soon. Here’s a positional outlook for the tight ends:
The franchise. The heart and soul of this Eagles team. Ertz has given his all to this organization for the last seven years. He’s only missed 6 games out of 112. He’s been to three pro bowls, broke the NFL record for most receptions by a tight end (in 2018 with 116). He’s also the go-to weapon for Carson Wentz.
This season, Ertz finished with 916 receiving yards on 88 receptions with 6 touchdowns to go along with it. He also risked it all against the Seahawks as he played with a lacerated kidney and fractured ribs. No other playmaker on this roster has averaged more receiving yards per season or touchdowns in the last three seasons. At-29 years-old, it seems Ertz is still at the peak of his prime to help lead this offense in 2020.
Ertz is entering the penultimate year of the five-year contract he signed back in 2016 and after that, the Eagles have a potential get-out clause. But after accounting for $6M in 2019 and far less in years prior, that number is set to rocket to $12.4M in 2020. Do not be surprised to see Ertz restructure his deal, or sign a long-term extension that benefits the team in the short-term, reducing that immediate cap-hit to around the $8-10M mark, ensuring that the Eagles retain a generational talent for as long as possible.
The 49th overall pick from the 2018 NFL draft has been rare find for a team with rough draft results. He’s gritty, tough, and explosive when the ball is in his hands. Goedert doubled his previous season’s yardage by jumping from 334 receiving yards to 607 for the 2019 season. He also reeled in 58 receptions along with 5 touchdowns. The SDSU prosuct has been absolutely pivotal as a run-blocker, helping the Eagles get the most out of 12 personnel looks. Dallas has shown is the ability to exploit defenses that double team Ertz, giving Wentz another reliable option on the field. Year three may hold the biggest wonders for Goedert’s career, who has shown no signs of slowing down his production.
You may remember his name from the Giants game this season when Wentz rolled out to only throw the ball towards the opposite field for a touchdown. Funny thing is that Perkins has been apart of this roster since 2018…a year in which he actually played a huge role in the game against Tampa Bay.
Perkins is a big-bodied playmaker who’s too big to be a receiver but not big enough to be a tight end…but the Eagles love versatility. Perkins gave this team another option as their wideouts continued to fall to injuries. In five games with the Eagles, he recorded 9 receptions for 87 yards and one touchdown. Not eye-popping stats but when there was a need, Perkins was an option. He may not be a lock to make the team next year but don’t overlook him, he may just be that third tight end the Eagles have been vying for.
On that note, the Eagles really haven’t been able to find a viable TE3 option since Trey Burton. They’ve been unable to run 13-personnel sets and it has arguably hurt them during tough stretches. This may be the year they add another name through free agency or draft a developmental talent. The other option is to allow the next two names to duke it out.
Ellis was an odd one for the team this season. He played in three games but unfortunately injured his knee against the Packers, The Eagles waived Ellis with an injury settlement but 2 and a half months later he made his way back onto the practice squad. Ellis started the season on the 53 man roster which shows the vote of confidence has from the coaching staff. Look for Ellis to try and fight his way back on to the 53-man this offseason.
Truly, no one has struggled to get on the field for the Eagles more the Richard Rodgers. The once glorified Hail Mary tight end for the Packers has been dealing with injuries for the last several seasons with the Eagles. It’s unfortunate because unlike Perkins, Rodgers provides the ability to block behind Goedert. Will the Eagles and Rodgers give it another shot or will Rodgers try to rekindle his fire elsewhere? It’s a question that holds meaning for Rodgers, but for an Eagles team trying to get younger and healthier, the answer seems obvious.
Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports