Jan 26, 2016, 12:00 PM EDT
The Eagles have signed tight end Zach Ertz to a five-year contract extension, locking him up through the 2021 season.
Ertz, a second-round pick by Philadelphia in the 2013 draft, was headed into the last year of his rookie contract, a deal that would have paid him $1.14 million in 2016. Although the details are not yet known the contract is reportedly worth $42.5 million over five years with $20 million guaranteed. In terms of average value of the contract per year, Ertz is now the fourth-highest paid tight end in the NFL.
A couple of hours south down I-95, the Redskins have a very productive tight end who also is going into the final year of his rookie contract. Jordan Reed came to Washington in the third round in 2013, 50 picks after the Eagles picked up Ertz. There has been talk that the Redskins need to consider extending Reed, who led the team in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns last year, before he has a chance to hit the free agent market.
The general feeling is that Reed should end up making more than Ertz. The Eagles’ TE has slightly better career numbers (169 rec., 2,024 yds., 9 TD) than does Reed (182/1,916/14). But Ertz has played in 13 more games as Reed had injury problems his first two years in the league. Per game, Reed has been the more productive player.
So, with Ertz averaging $8.5 million per year on his new contract with incentives that can push it to about $9.2 million, Reed can expect to make something a bit north of $9 million per year with some incentives that can push him to around $9.5 million.
A contract with a $9 million average would make him the third highest-paid tight end in the league, behind Jimmy Graham of the Seahawks ($10 million) and Julius Thomas of the Jaguars ($9.2 million) and tied with Rob Gronkowski of the Patriots.
Due to Reed’s injury issues the Redskins might want to tie some of Reed’s compensation to per-game roster bonuses. These would pay a bonus of, say, $30,000 if Reed is on the 46-man active roster for a game and nothing if he is inactive or on injured reserve. This is a fairly common mechanism used around the league to give teams some relief if a player spends a lot of time sidelined.
There has been no talk of a Reed extension coming out of Redskins Park. But last year Scot McCloughan locked up Trent Williams and Ryan Kerrigan, both of whom had a year to go on their contracts, in the weeks before the season started. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the same thing happen with Reed this year. They now have a solid comparable contract to which they can refer and that is always helpful in negotiations.
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