Philadelphia Eagles are approaching familiar, possibly troubling territory

Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles (Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)
Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles (Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Philadelphia Eagles will enter the 2021-22 season much like they did last year, with Dallas Goedert and Zach Ertz as their top two tight ends. That is as good a duo at the position as one could ask for. The problem is, they are also beginning the season with a familiar problem.

Last season, Ertz pined for a new extension and didn’t receive one. He will likely play out the duration of his current deal which ends after this campaign. The Stanford product is unlikely to be moved unless the Eagles are made an offer they can’t refuse. Especially considering the lack of proven options on the team and on the market.

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Goedert now finds himself in similar territory. With the team’s season due to start on September 12th versus the Atlanta Falcons, he may have to wait a while longer to ink a new deal. He is entering the final year of his rookie contract and is due to make just a hair over $1.2 million this season. The fourth-year tight end is probably looking to be paid among the top at his position and he can’t be blamed for feeling that way.

Are the Philadelphia Eagles in danger of falling into a familiar pothole?

The South Dakota State alum has had a fairly productive start to his NFL career as he has managed to snag 12 touchdowns in 42 career games. Goedert was on track for career highs across the board last year but missed 5 games due to injury. His 46 receptions for 524 yards and three TDs aren’t bad for an 11 game sample size that coincided with lackluster quarterback play.

What could be potentially concerning is just how much the lack of an extension, at this point, could factor into Goedert’s play on the field. Recently, he spoke with several members of the Philly media, and here’s what he had to say on the subject.

"My representation, we talked about it earlier. We thought we’d have a deal done by this time of the year, but the team decided to go a different way. We haven’t got that done yet."

For a number-two tight end to be 12th among all tight ends in catches and 13th in touchdowns over the duration of the last two years is astounding and it’s only a matter of time before he is paid accordingly.

The puzzling part about this situation though is that both Goedert and Ertz are set to become free agents next offseason. The chances of Philadelphia retaining both past this season are low considering that they are two of the NFL’s better tight ends when healthy.

The Eagles cannot afford to have history repeat itself in the form of another down year from the position group, not when the team lacks a proven number one target out of the receiving core. Ertz’s level of play seemed to deteriorate as the season went on last year.

He too appeared in only 11 games and saw his lowest amount of targets since his rookie season following a five-year stretch of receiving at least 100 targets from 2015-19 as well as his lowest snap count (56%) since his second year in the league.

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This seemed to coincide with the fact that the Philadelphia Eagles decided against handing the, now 30-year-old, a contract extension of his liking. He just seemed to be a bit off and so was his play. Could it be that his contract dispute with the team proved to be a distraction? Who knows?

One could be forgiven if they thought it was the primary reason for his seasonal decline as it appeared to be a large rain cloud hovering over him. If Philly isn’t careful, they could risk putting Goedert in a comparable state of mind. Nobody in the City of Brotherly Love wants to see anything like what happened with Ertz in 2021.