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Zach Ertz Agrees To Deal With Cardinals Before Free Agency

Team keeps tight end on three-year contract

The Cardinals are bringing back tight end Zach Ertz on a three-year contract before he reached free agency.
The Cardinals are bringing back tight end Zach Ertz on a three-year contract before he reached free agency.

The Cardinals traded for Zach Ertz looking to fill a hole at tight end.

The team didn't want to create another one by letting him go.

Ertz and the Cardinals agreed to a new three-year contract Sunday, keeping him in Arizona before he reached free agency this week.

"I've loved my time here in Arizona and I would love the opportunity to continue here," Ertz said after the season. "It's been a blessing to be able to be here, I've truly loved it, my wife has obviously loved it, so it's just been fun. I'm very grateful for the opportunity to be out here the last three months.

"It didn't end the way we wanted it to, but I feel like we have unfinished business as a team. I would love to be part of it."

The deal is worth $17.5 million in guarantees, according to NFL Network. No word yet on Ertz's salary cap number for 2022.

Ertz delivered exactly what the Cardinals had hoped once they traded for the veteran at midseason. In 11 games, Ertz ended up with 56 catches, tying the franchise record for receptions at the position. He also had 574 yards and three touchdowns, and became Kyler Murray's top target late in the season after the knee injury to wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.

On the season, he had 74 receptions for 763 yards and five touchdowns in 17 total games for the Eagles and Cardinals.

Ertz's wife, Julie, a member of the the U.S. National Soccer Team, is from Mesa, another reason why Ertz would have a desire to stay in Arizona.

Ertz was needed after Maxx Williams went down with a knee injury in Week 5. Williams, who is also a free-agent-to-be, still has a chance to be re-signed as well. If Williams were to return, it would give the Cardinals their strongest 1-2 combination at tight end since Robert Alwalt and Jay Novacek were on the 1989 roster.

Teams can start talking to free agents from other teams starting at 9 a.m. Arizona time on Monday, Free agency officially begins at 1 p.m. Wednesday.