Zach Ertz showed up with beach blond hair on the first day of Philadelphia Eagles training camp. A different look for one of the best pass catchers in franchise history, but he’s far from a different player.
Ertz was surely a candidate to be dealt by the Eagles this offseason. Philadelphia couldn’t get the compensation it wanted for a player it truly valued — and someone who makes the offense better with him on it. Ertz was at the NovaCare Complex practicing in full on Day 1, just business as usual.
The Eagles are taking that approach as well, expecting Ertz to be with the team for the Sept. 12 opener against the Atlanta Falcons.
“I think when you talk about the guys that are here and the kind of player that he is, and you think about our young skill position group, and having a Pro Bowl player like that on your roster who players can learn from, it’s huge. It’s huge for us,” Eagles general manager Howie Roseman said to reporters Wednesday. “Again, just really excited to have him here, and being out there today is huge for our football team as we get started.”
Roseman talked with Ertz after practice for a good 10 minutes, with the general manager truly excited he showed up to training camp and — as of now — playing out the final year of his contract. Ertz is getting a base salary of $8.5 million this year, with something to prove after having arguably the worst season of his career in 2020.
That’s not the Zach Ertz the Eagles are accustomed to. That’s not the Zach Ertz they’ll get in 2021 either.
“We have a tremendous opinion about Zach as a player and as a person,” Roseman said. “All he wants to do is play football and he knows what kind of player he is.
“When we look at last year, it was embarrassing for this organization and this team. A lot of us have a chip on our shoulder. When you talk about Zach, it doesn’t take a lot to get him here. He cares so much about this team and this city. Just really good to see him out there.”