Zach Ertz is already getting settled in Arizona, but he had one last goodbye for the city he still considers home.
The longtime Eagles tight end who was traded on Friday to the Arizona Cardinals, bid the Eagles organization and fans a final farewell on behalf of he and his wife, women’s soccer star Julie Ertz, in an advertisement in Tuesday’s Inquirer.
The ad reads:
I would just like to start by saying that I am eternally grateful for the love and support I have felt in my eight years in this amazing city. Running through that tunnel every Sunday at the Linc truly changed my life. You have inspired me to push my limits each and every day to make sure I left no stone unturned in my pursuit to represent you the way you deserved. It was because of your love and commitment that I knew I needed to reciprocate that back every single day as a member of this team and community.
In 2013, I was drafted to this city, away from my family, friends and now wife, Julie, and was immediately adopted into the Philly family. I came away with one goal, to help win the first Lombardi trophy in this city’s history and WE DID IT! That is something that I will never forget, not because of the piece of hardware, but because of the journey that took place. The players on that team are brothers to me. The grit, work, determination and focus that each player provided was incredible and it was solely to provide you with what you deserved. This culminated in the greatest experience I have ever had as a Philadelphia Eagle, the parade. To be able to celebrate the Lombardi trophy down Broad Street with millions of you was the greatest thing I have ever experienced in my football career. The joy and happiness within each individual was tangible and all I can say is that you guys deserved every single minute of that!!
There are so many people that I am thankful for an I know that I can’t thank everyone, but it wouldn’t be accurate if I acted like my success in this city was solely a product of my own doing. That you to my family for always having my back and pushing m etc bet the best son, husband, brother I could be. Thank you to the training staff, Joe, Trey, Monte, Tom, Micah, Jerome, Steve and Dr. Dhanota, for doing everything you could for getting me ready for Sundays! Thank you to the equipment staff, G, Craig, Pete and Eddie, truly the best in the world. Thank you to some of the hardest working people in the building that helped me on a daily basis, Kathy, Paul, T-Roy, Tony, Pastor Ted. Thank you to Howie Roseman for believing in me all o these years. Thank you to Patch for finding me. Thank you to big Dom for truly everything. Thank you to Mr. Lurie for building such an amazing organization and one that I truly loved playing for every single second of my time here. Lastly, thank you to all of my teammates over the years, you guys were the reason I wanted to leave every single thing that I had on that football field to make sure I did everything I could to never let you down.
Now comes the toughest part for me, saying goodbye, for now, to the city that I love. The city that adopted a young rookie and through so many life events and memories, raised that same rookie to be a veteran. The city that allowed me to show future Eagles that this city will push, inspire and settle for nothing less than your absolute best but as long as you give it all you’ve got, will have your back no matter what. The city that truly changed my life through the interactions with my brothers that led me to my faith. Julie and I will leave here with unbelievable memories that no other city could provide.
From the moment we arrived, this city treated us as family and for that we always wanted to create a way too give back. That’s why in the Spring of 2018, we founded the Ertz Family Foundation, and through your support, have been able to make a tangible difference in our community. All of this has culminated in the House of Hope project which we’ll be breaking ground on in the next few weeks. We are renovating an old church building that will provide our community with a place of worship, a community kitchen, education and support resources, career exploration and support, and most importantly, a safe place building that will show love and support to our youth in this city. It is truly through your showing of love and acceptance of me into the Eagles family, that Julie and I hope our legacy live on solely to honor you all.
From the bottom of my heart, I am eternally grateful to you for embracing me, cheering for me, and loving me as only the greatest fans could. My days here have come to an end for now, but my heart has forever changed by your outpouring of support for me, Julie and my family. I came here as a kid and leave here as a man forever thankful and forever committed to this city. Philly, we are world champions and no one can ever take that away from us. This is home. Philadelphia is home.
I love you guys,
Ertz was traded to the undefeated Cardinals the day after the Eagles lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday night. He had four catches for 29 yards and a touchdown in his final game with the team. General manager Howie Roseman waited to finalize the trade until Friday so Ertz could knowingly play his last game as an Eagle.
The 30-year-old spent nine seasons with the Eagles after they selected him in the second round of the 2013 NFL draft. He’s second on the Eagles’ all-time list with 579 catches and also has 6,267 career receiving yards and 38 touchdowns. During the Eagles’ Super Bowl run in 2017, Ertz had 18 catches for 192 yards and scored the go-ahead touchdown in Super Bowl LII against the New England Patriots.
Check out the full text of Ertz’s farewell letter below.