Philadelphia Eagles: Zach Ertz (and Jason Kelce) have blonde ambitions

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

For the vast majority of the offseason, Zach Ertz‘s days with the Philadelphia Eagles appeared to be numbered.

After initially asking for a new contract heading into the 2020 NFL season, Ertz turned in his least productive football season since his freshman year at Stanford. While Ertz almost had an out at the trade deadline, as a few teams had reportedly expressed interest in his services, a trip to IR eliminated that possibility, as players on short-term IR weren’t allowed to be traded.

But surely when the season came to an end, that would change, right? I mean, even if Ertz’s numbers were down in 2020, he still could have helped a team looking for a reliable option across the middle of the field.

Well, for one reason or another, Zach Ertz is still a member of the Philadelphia Eagles, and that, my friends, was the right call, even if it resulted in Jason Kelce having to dye his hair blonde because of it (more on that here).

Keeping Zach Ertz was the right call for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Who was the Philadelphia Eagles’ leading receiver in Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season?

DeVonta Smith.

Hm… okay. Well, who was the Philadelphia Eagles’ leading tight end receiver in Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season?

Dallas Goedert.

… wait, what? So how was keeping Zach Ertz the right call if he didn’t even lead the Birds’ tight ends unit in receiving yards?

Well, because Ertz just isn’t that guy, not anymore, at least.

At 31-years-old, Ertz is a smart, savvy tight end who knows how to run routes, get open, and even set blocks to free up teammates for touchdowns. Despite finishing out the game with the fifth-most receiving yards on the team, catching both of his targets for 34 yards, Ertz played a part in two of the team’s biggest plays of the game, a 28-yard catch that really should have been more if Jalen Hurts threw the ball a little further, and a crucial pick to set up Smith for his first career touchdown.

What, you didn’t see Smith’s first career touchdown? Check it out here; it’s fantastic.

While Ertz only played 41 snaps for the Eagles in Week 1, the fewest snaps he’s recorded in a game since Week 13 of the 2020 season, he accepted the role he was tasked with, turned in a plus play on the majority of the snaps he was on the field for, and ultimately helped the Eagles win their first game since December 13th, 2020.

Is that worth dying your hair blonde? That’s debatable, but I’ll tell you what, it’s certainly worth more than the Day 3 pick a team like the Minnesota Vikings would have offered for Ertz’s services.

Next. Davion Taylor is finally good to go. dark

Will Zach Ertz ultimately remain with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2022? Considering Dallas Goedert still hasn’t been extended on a long-term deal, keeping the presumably cheaper veteran becomes more and more of a possibility with each passing week. But for that to happen, Ertz needs to show that 2020 was a fluke and that he can still be a viable starting-caliber tight end deep into his 30s. If that happens, maybe Howie Roseman will consider going blonde too.