Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman spoke to reporters after news broke that the team was trading Zach Ertz to the Arizona Cardinals, and explained why it was the right opportunity for the organization and the tight end, and what they see from that position group moving forward.
Roseman claimed that they aren’t low on this season’s potential and don’t consider themselves sellers in the two weeks leading up to the NFL trade deadline.
Here’s what the GM had to say:
On the Zach Ertz trade
“First of all, Zach Ertz, his lasting legacy on this team on and off the field and in this city — some of the most iconic moments in the history of this franchise were from Zach. Just tremendous appreciation for him as a player, Eagles Hall of Famer, on the verge of maybe the NFL Hall of Fame, and as a person. The amount of conversations that you have with him, and his love of the game and his love of the city, so it’s a hard day.
In terms of why we did this, it was about opportunity. Opportunity for the Eagles, opportunity for Zach, as we move forward.”
Later, Roseman said that he doesn’t think that the move says anything about their outlook for the rest of the season, they are still going and trying to win every game. Despite entertaining calls during the offseason, the GM said he thinks they would have had more regret not bringing Ertz back to at least see what the team looked like with him.
He went on to explain that they communicated with Ertz a lot throughout the process and tried to give him as much of a heads up as they could, with Roseman talking to the tight end on Tuesday night.
“Zach’s an Eagle for life. Zach’s family. That will never change. Just very appreciative of him and his contributions.”
Roseman was emphatic that there are no issues between him and Ertz, and sometimes with family you have ups and downs, but there aren’t many players you sit down with two days before a game to talk through a trade. Roseman noted he drafted Ertz and still has pictures of their families together after the Super Bowl, so it wasn’t ‘goodbye’.
The GM also explained that while they didn’t call the Cardinals back to make things official until Friday morning, they wanted Ertz to be able to have his moment and enjoy his last game in Philadelphia with his eyes open about the situation — which is why he was also a captain for Thursday night’s game. With Dallas Goedert out, Ertz was able to take a bit more of the spotlight, and was able to get one more touchdown in The Linc. Roseman was asked what happens if he gets hurt, and the GM said it was a risk they were willing to take to give Ertz that special moment with the team and the city.
On Dallas Goedert and the TE room now
Roseman said that it became clear that moving forward they were going to be able to keep both Dallas Goedert and Ertz on the roster, they were both set to be free agents at the end of the year, and this move gives Goedert an opportunity to step up and be the No. 1 guy. The GM also said that the move comes after they were able to see what Tyree Jackson was able to do, and how some of the guys behind Goedert — Jack Stoll and Noah Togiai — might be able to contribute.
He later talked about how they know that they aren’t going to be able to bring Goedert back on a discount next year, so with him taking the lead role at tight end, they’ll have a better sense of what he can do and how he’ll work out. They’ll also have some more opportunity later this season when Tyree Jackson is back on the field to see what he can do during games, and whether what they say in training camp will translate to success on the field.
On adding CB Tay Gowan
Roseman said that Gowan is someone they scouted during the draft process and is someone they would have considered with their sixth round pick — he was taken just before they were back on the clock. The Eagles spent a lot of time with him before the draft, and adding him is a chance to add another young cornerback to that room.