Dallas Goedert knows he's Eagles' top tight end over Zach Ertz; and why he has bragging rights over Joe Flacco
Everything about this season will be different for Dallas Goedert.
That begins with his status as the Eagles' No. 1 tight end. Goedert is expected to take over for Zach Ertz, a topic Goedert made sure to preface with "if he doesn’t come back."
All indications are that Ertz won't be back. He was unhappy beginning last summer when the Eagles didn't give him a contract extension, and he has not taken part in any of the spring practices, which for the Eagles concludes Friday.
Ertz is expected to be either traded or released in the coming days, enabling the Eagles to save $8.5 million on their salary cap.
"It obviously just shows that my hard work’s been paying off," Goedert said about the Eagles feeling confident in him as the top tight end. "What I do out on the field, they can see it as well as I can."
Goedert called learning from Ertz for his first three seasons, "one of the biggest blessings of my career."
"Zach’s been an incredible mentor to me, the way he attacked every day, how much he knew about the playbook, how much he knew about opposing defenses," Goedert said. "We’d leave the huddle (his rookie year), and he'd tell me what I was doing, who I was going to block, and I’m like, 'We’re not even at the line of scrimmage yet.' "
Goedert has made it apparent that, unlike Ertz, he's happy about everything coming into this season.
In addition to his status as the Eagles' top tight end, he said he has engaged in contract extension talks as he enters the final season of his rookie contract, he feels like he's one of the team leaders if not one of the best tight ends in the NFL, and he likes the offense installed by new head coach Nick Sirianni.
Goedert even was happy that he has bragging rights over teammate and perceived backup quarterback Joe Flacco after the FCS playoffs. Goedert's alma mater, South Dakota State, beat Flacco's alma mater, the University of Delaware, 33-3 in the semifinals on May 8.
The Jackrabbits then went on to lose to Sam Houston, led by former UD coach K.C. Keeler, in the championship game.
"I messaged him a little bit before (the game) and he got back to me," Goedert said about Flacco. "We didn’t make a bet or anything. His old coach is now the head coach at Sam Houston State ... and he got the best of me there, so it looks like we’re 1-1 right now."
As for the contract, Goedert said he'd love to have an extension before his current deal runs out. Goedert, the Eagles' second-round pick in 2018, has a base salary of $1.2 million this season.
Goedert's next contract could be worth an average value of $10 million per season, especially if he makes it to free agency.
"For me, if I could get the contract extension, I’d love to be in Philly forever," Goedert said. "Having the second contract is the ultimate goal, so the sooner you can get to it, I feel it’s the better."
Ertz is entering the final season of his contract, worth $8.5 million. But the Eagles can add that to their salary cap room by trading or releasing him this summer. Ertz, who's 30, is coming off the worst season of his career, with 36 catches for 335 yards while missing five games with a broken ankle.
Goedert also missed five games last season with a broken ankle, but he finished with 46 catches for 524 yards. Goedert, who's 26, is also four years younger than Ertz.
Goedert said the two are friends, and they have talked during the offseason.
"We’d take him back here. The more good players we have here, the better. But if it’s not the right situation for him, that’s his decision ultimately."
Contact Martin Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter @Mfranknfl.