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Zach Ertz traded to Arizona Cardinals, leaves legacy of faith and hard work in Philadelphia

Zach Ertz had an inkling that Thursday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could be his last game in a Philadelphia Eagles uniform. After catching a first quarter touchdown, he basked in the moment.

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“I spiked the ball so hard, I think it disappeared,” he said while meeting with media on Friday.

Indeed, Ertz was traded on Friday to the Arizona Cardinals. He leaves the organization as one of the most decorated players in franchise history, garnering three Pro Bowl appearances and a Super Bowl championship during his eight-plus seasons as an Eagle.

When asked about the legacy he’s leaving behind in Philadelphia, Ertz said that was up to the media to decide.

“I just know I did my best each and every day to be the best player I could, and I can walk out of the door today, obviously emotional, but content at everything we’ve done here,” he said.

His legacy will be one of hard work on and off the field. Since 2018, he and his wife, Julie, have operated the Ertz Family Foundation, which seeks to “empower others by sharing faith, learning through sports, and advancing education to build supportive communities,” according to its website.

On Friday, he spoke about an “epidemic of gun violence” in Philadelphia and how he hopes his foundation will continue to be a safe space for kids to provide them a place to do homework, get food and receive guidance. He plans to partner with pastors and the faith community in Philadelphia to keep seeing progress.

“Just because I’m not physically here doesn’t mean I’m not going to be here continually,” Ertz said.

He has also consistently used his platform, along with his wife, to share the Gospel and help impact lives. Speaking to Sports Spectrum ahead of Super Bowl LII, Ertz said discipleship should be the heart of every Christian.

“Our No. 1 goal on this earth is to make disciples,” Ertz said. “It’s the only job that we pretty much want to do. So faith and football this Sunday is huge. This is a platform to draw people to the Word, to Jesus. It’s not something we take for granted by any means.”

With his Eagles career in the rearview, Ertz said he’s excited to join a talented Cardinals roster.

“I’m so excited to join the Cardinals,” he said. “They’re 5-0. Got a big game against the Browns on Sunday. I’m looking forward to playing with (quarterback) Kyler (Murray), and (receivers) DeAndre Hopkins and A.J. Green.”

The memories in Philadelphia will remain with him, though, and he said he’ll be “the biggest fan from afar” of his former teammates.

“We had some great times and we had some low times, but I know I did my best,” Ertz said. “At the end of the day, I think I can live with that walking out of here. It’s going to be tough, but it’s been a blast.”

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