PHILADELPHIA – Dallas Goedert said he wants to be in Philadelphia forever.
Forever is a long time, and teammate Zach Ertz felt the same way at one point in his career, but Ertz is likely to move on after eight seasons with the Eagles, and Goedert is poised to take over as the starting tight end.
A source recently told SI.com Eagle Maven that, even if somehow, someway, Ertz is still on the roster this season, Goedert will be the starting tight end and the snap count for the veteran Ertz will be decreased significantly from what he was used to since arriving in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Goedert said contract talks are ongoing between his agent and the Eagles.
“I think contract stuff is still in discussions a little bit,” said Goedert following Wednesday’s OTA practice. “You know, I’m not too worried about that. I have to go out there and play really good football. I have to worry about getting one percent better each and every day … I’m leaving my contract stuff to my agent.”
Goedert is still operating under the parameters of his rookie deal, signed after he, like Ertz, was a second-round draft pick, but five years after Ertz. He has a base salary of $1.24 million and a salary-cap hit of $1.78M compared to Ertz’s $8.5M salary for this season.
Despite deferring to his representation, Goedert said his preference is to get a deal done as soon as possible.
“That’s always a tough situation,” he answered when asked by Eagle Maven if he would want to sign now and have security or prove to be even more valuable during the final year of his contract.
“For me, if I could get the contract extension, I’d love to be in Philly forever. Having the second contract is the ultimate goal, so the sooner you can get to it I feel it’s the better. But, either way, whether I get it or not I’m going to have the same mentality. I have to go in there, have a good year, we have to make the playoffs, we have to get more wins than we did last year.”
Goedert said he believes he is one of the top tight ends in the league, though he is certainly not at the elite status of San Francisco’s George Kittle or Kansas City’s Travis Kelce.
Neither were Jonnu Smith or Hunter Henry, yet both tight ends were paid handsomely in free agency by the New England Patriots, with Smith landing a four-year, $50M contract with $31.2M guaranteed and Henry getting a three-year, $37.5M deal with $25M guaranteed.
Henry entered the league in 2016 as a second-round pick and has 196 receptions for 2,322 yards and 21 touchdowns. Smith was a third-round pick in 2017 and has 114 catches,1,302 yards, and 16 TDs.
Goedert who has been in the league for two fewer seasons than Henry and one less year than Smith has 137 catches for 1,465 yards and 12 TDs.
“Obviously, everybody out here wants to get as much money as they can,” said Goedert. “Like I said last time, George Kittle helped it out, Travis Kelce helped it out, the two signings from the Patriots helped it out. And that’s just what we have to do as tight ends, know our value and hold the organizations to as much as we can get, and continue to raise that bar.”
Per www.overthecap.com, a contract extension for Goedert would likely look something like four years, $52M with about $30M guaranteed.
“Year 4 is crazy,” said Goedert, when asked about his time in the league. “The first three years flew by. Looking forward to this year. We got a lot of really good tight ends in this league. I think I’m up there at the top. But for me, the biggest thing is to get back into the playoffs.
"...Obviously, I have high expectations for myself. I hold myself to high standards. I’m just going to do whatever I can to help the team win games.”
Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Eagle Maven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.