Eagles may have had a change of heart at tight end after all

PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTEMBER 20: Philadelphia Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert (88) warms up during the game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Philadelphia Eagles on September 20, 2020 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (c) (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

I wrote an article a few days back diving into the depths of the unique TE situation that the Eagles find themselves in and how it looks like the team might have had a change of heart. Dallas Goedert met with reporters on Monday and all but confirmed that there’s some truth to that.

“We thought we would have a deal done by this time of the year,” the fourth-year TE said. “But the team decided to go a different way.”

The South Dakota State product went on to explain how he’s not worried about that at the moment and is focusing on winning football games. But when we compare this to a recent press conference with Zach Ertz, in which he stated that “there’s no reason a new deal can’t be worked out”, the lay of the land reveals itself.

With Ertz and Goedert both in contract years, the Eagles are running out of time to choose their destiny. There was ample opportunity to work new deals for both players, but by this point, that’s just not feasible.

The truth is that Dallas Goedert is one breakout season away from being paid like an elite tight end. He’s young, he’s explosive, and he’s a monster in the red-zone. This doesn’t bode well for a team trying to save every spare penny possible right now.

On the other hand is Zach Ertz, who has been with the team since being drafted in 2012, and has broken countless team records, NFL records, and was long revered as a near-equal to Travis Kelce. For a multitude of reasons, that reputation imploded last year, meaning that if the Eagles believe he can rebound and get back to his best, there is no better time to offer him a new deal.

What nobody saw coming was an offseason rise of former Bills QB, Tyree Jackson. While he picked up an injury that means he will miss the opening chunk of the season, he was one of the brightest stars of the summer and flashed more than enough during his preseason debut to convince coaches that his upside was worth the investment.

Ertz has already taken a shine to Jackson and spent plenty of time coaching him up during camp. On top of that, his chemistry with Jalen Hurts is red-hot. All signs are pointing towards Ertz picking up where he dropped the ball at the beginning of 2020 and making up for lost time. If he does, Philadelphia will need to act quickly.

With Tyree Jackson’s summer breakout fresh on the minds of every Eagles coach, It’s easy to see where the change of heart came from. If the consensus is that Jackson could develop into a monstrous weapon, not only do they have a really affordable contract, but they have time. They can pair that with a discounted new deal for Zach Ertz, much in the same way that Brent Celek and James Casey were retained as veterans in eras past, allowing the young guns to grow.

With some TE-needy teams emerging, the Eagles may well find that a team comes knocking in need of a short-term solution at the position. If that’s the case, we already know that Zach Ertz is off the table due to an absurd valuation, but perhaps an incentive to cash in before Goedert enters free agency may convince Howie to recoup some draft capital to put into the war chest, safe in the knowledge that he has a strong tandem to provide life after the departure of Dallas.

Mandatory Photo Credit: Icon Sportswire