PHILADELPHIA (AP) Zach Ertz gave up free agency down the road to make sure he stays with the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Eagles signed their starting tight end to a five-year contract extension through the 2021 season. The deal reportedly is worth $42.5 million with $20 million guaranteed.
''I wanted to be in Philadelphia. And whatever price that took, that's what I wanted to do,'' Ertz said Monday. ''I want to be here for a long time, I want to be here for my entire career. Kobe Bryant and Jason Witten are two of the athletes I've looked up to since I was a young kid. And those two guys stayed in their cities throughout their entire careers.''
Ertz set career highs this season with 75 receptions and 853 yards receiving, finishing second on the team in both categories. A second-round draft pick in 2013, Ertz has 169 catches for 2,024 yards receiving and nine touchdowns. His 75 catches in 2015 marked the third-highest single-season total by a tight end in franchise history, and his 169 receptions are the second most by an Eagles tight end through the first three years of his career.
''When people think of great tight ends in Philly, I want to be the guy that they think of,'' Ertz said.
Ertz set a single-game franchise record in 2014 with 15 receptions at Washington. His 15 receptions also tied for the second-highest total by an NFL tight end since 1960.
Ertz played in 38 games for Stanford and was a unanimous All-American selection as a junior in 2012.
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