What does this have to do with Zach Ertz you ask?
Philly didn’t just lose a great player when they let Malcolm Jenkins walk. They lost a vocal leader. They lost two others in Nigel Bradham and Jason Peters as well, though most can understand those moves a little better. Philly wanted to get younger and less expensive at a few of their important positions. Bradham ate up a lot of cap space, and Peters needed to move on so Philly can move on with Andre Dillard.
If Philly was to also lose Zach Ertz, they’d also be losing both another big contributor and another strong locker room presence. The core of this team is dwindling away. We all get it. This isn’t something that we all haven’t seen before. The Seattle Seahawks had to let their vocal guys like Richard Sherman, Michael Bennett, Earl Thomas, and Marshawn Lynch walk. Why? The wanted the ‘Hawks’ locker room to belong to Russell Wilson.
Sure, it backfired at times. They wanted Wilson to be the hero in that second Super Bowl, so instead of handing the ball to Marshawn Lynch, they attempted a slant pass that got picked off, basically handing the New England Patriots another title. No, it’s never robbed Seattle of an opportunity to land free agents, but Philly’s situation is a little different.
Just three years ago, guys wanted to come to the Eagles and play with Carson Wentz. Now, it feels like Philly’s at the negotiating table for just about everybody that’s considered elite and available, yet they aren’t landing anything. Three years ago, they got guys like DeAndre Hopkins and Byron Jones. Now, those guys are winding up with bottom feeders like the Arizona Cardinals and the Miami Dolphins.
While we’re on the subject of bad precedents, throw this one in the category of one that some may view as another. Don’t ask for too much money, even if you deserve it. Don’t come to Philly and show any backbone, or you may be ushered out of the door because this is Carson Wentz’s team. Isn’t that the same strategy that Chip Kelly used? How did that work out for him?
Again, handing the reigns and the keys to Wentz isn’t a bad thing, but the best players in the game aren’t always quiet. There’s nothing wrong with several strong voices in the locker room as long as they’re on the same page.