Zach Ertz’s reunion with Arizona Cardinals a ‘no-brainer’ move

Mar 15, 2022, 11:12 AM | Updated: Mar 21, 2022, 1:14 pm
Zach Ertz #86 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates a first down against the Indianapolis Colts durin...
Zach Ertz #86 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates a first down against the Indianapolis Colts during the second quarter at State Farm Stadium on December 25, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

Zach Ertz wasted little time agreeing to terms with the Arizona Cardinals.

Usually a player of his caliber would test the free agency waters, knowing there would likely be a handful of teams interested in the tight end’s services.

But not Ertz, who didn’t even let the league’s negotiating window open up Monday before agreeing to a three-year deal to remain in the desert a day prior.

For Ertz, the decision to re-sign really boiled down to one thing: “When you find a good thing, you don’t go looking for something else.”

Having his wife Julie’s family in the state is an added bonus.

“They made it known I was a priority from the moment the season ended,” Ertz said of the organization Monday. “And to be in a place that respects you for not only what you do on the field but off the field as well. The way you approach the game for me is valuable. You can’t put a price on that and so truly it was just something that I wanted to be here.

“There could have been situations that could have been different but I don’t think any of them would have been better than this. For me, it was just something that I wanted to get done. I’m extremely comfortable here, I have a routine now here and I’m a very routine-oriented person. When I got into that routine late in the year I felt extremely comfortable. My wife loves it here and so for me it was a no-brainer.”

Ertz made his presence felt in a big way following Arizona’s trade for the tight end midseason. From Week 7 on, Ertz amassed 56 catches on 81 targets for 574 yards and three touchdowns. The chemistry he had with quarterback Kyler Murray was evident despite not getting a full offseason in the Valley.

That all changes in 2022, however, with Ertz locked up and ready to get to work.

“I got to prove it every single time I step on the practice field,” Ertz said. “I’m not going to walk in and say I had 50-plus catches this year. I expect double that this year with a whole offseason. Now I got to go earn it each and every time I step on the practice field.

“I love the opportunity to compete and I love the offseason because I want the coaches to push me to my limits, push me to get better and see how they can continue to use me. I don’t think this offense has ever had a tight end like me for an offseason, so I’m excited to see what we’ll be able to do together not only this offseason but next year as well.”

Ertz’s contributions don’t end on the football field, either.

Soon after joining the Cardinals this past season, The Ertz Foundation launched the “Score More n’ Feed More” campaign, donating 5,000 meals for every Arizona touchdown. By the end of the season, a total of 145,000 meals were donated to Arizona food banks. He was one of five 2022 NFLPA Alan Page Community Award finalists thanks to his efforts.

“We’re invested not only in this organization but in this community,” Ertz said. “It’s gonna be fun to be out here for an entire offseason and just continue to work with the guys. … I’m excited to continue to work with those guys and get better and continually push each other.

“We envision ourselves being here for a long time,” the tight end added. “I don’t know how long after I retire, but I want to finish my career here for sure. Hopefully we love it and we just continue our lives here whenever that post-football career is.”

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