Zach Ertz spoke with reporters during a press conference in Philadelphia on Monday afternoon to discuss his five-year contract extension with the Eagles. As you might guess, several reporters asked about Ertz's opinion on impending free agent quarterback Sam Bradford.
"Yeah, I think he’s excited." Ertz said when asked if he’s talked to Bradford since Eagles hired new head coach Doug Pederson. "He wants to be in Philadelphia. Whether he’s back here or not, that’s none of my business honestly. He’s going to do what’s best for him and the Eagles are going to do what’s best for us. But at the end of the day, I think he does want to be here."
It's interesting to hear Ertz insist Bradford wants to be back because there have been reports that the quarterback isn't crazy about Philly. Ertz said he'd very much welcome a Bradford return.
"I would love that," he said. "I know a lot of guys would love to have Sam back. Jordan [Matthews] and myself both in particular were kind of rewarded with Sam playing quarterback."
Once again, however, Ertz hedged on the possibility of Bradford returning.
"But at the same time, we’re very confident in Doug [Pederson], and Howie [Roseman], and Mr. [Jeffrey] Lurie to decide who’s going to be the best person to play quarterback."
Bradford and Ertz had a strong connection in the passing game, especially late in the season. Ertz finished the Eagles' final four games with 35 receptions for 450 yards and one touchdown. Ertz's 30 receptions in the final three games set a new Eagles franchise record for catches in that span. Ertz was clearly a favorite target for Bradford. The tight end spoke on the importance of that on-field relationship.
"I want to play with Sam," Ertz reiterated. "Ultimately, that’s not my decision. But I think that the chemistry I developed with Sam, Jordan [Matthews] developed with Sam, some of the other guys developed, I think it goes a long way. I think you guys saw the success firsthand with Donovan [McNabb]. He was a staple on this team for a long time, and when you’re able to have that continuity I think it goes a long way."
Ertz isn't the first player to throw his support before Bradford. The aforementioned Matthews said Bradford "has to be the guy."
Ultimately, though, it's not up to the players to decide whether Bradford comes back or not. Re-signing Bradford won't be cheap. The Eagles obviously have a big decision to make at the quarterback position this offseason.