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Zach Ertz: Priority No. 1 in returning to Cardinals was a 'chance to win another Super Bowl'

Veteran tight end Zach Ertz agreed to re-sign with the Arizona Cardinals on Monday, eschewing the chance to test free agency fully.

Ertz agreed to terms on a three-year, $31.65 million contract days before the free-agent market officially opened. With the tight end market already depleted -- in large part to three getting franchise-tagged -- Ertz could have attempted to hold out and create a bidding war if clubs got desperate.

However, the 31-year-old said his only goal was to return to Arizona to chase a title.

"The thing why I wanted to be here was a chance to win another Super Bowl," he said, via the Arizona Republic. "That was the No. 1 priority to me, was finding a way to stay here with his organization because I love coming to work every day, I love the guys on this team, I love the vets on this team and I'm excited about the future, honestly."

The Cardinals traded for Ertz midway through the 2021 season. In 11 games in Arizona, the veteran compiled 56 catches for 574 yards and three TDs.

The $10.55 million annual average on his new contract is a solid pay bump from the $8.5 million he was making on his last deal with the Philadelphia Eagles. Still, it's lower than the $10.931 million franchise tag and less than Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith made on the open market last year (both $12.5 million from the Patriots).

Reporters pressed Ertz on why he didn't push to get to the market, given some of the money going around -- including former Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk getting a four-year, $72 million deal from Jacksonville.

"When you find a good thing, you don't go looking for something else," Ertz replied. "For me, I wanted to be there. They made it known that I was a priority from the moment the season ended. 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 invaluable. You can't put a price on that. I wanted to be here. Yeah, there could have been situations that could have been different, but I don't think any of them would have been better than this."

On the first day of the negotiating window opening, the Cards lost Kirk and Chase Edmonds (Dolphins) but re-signed Ertz, running back James Conner and backup QB Colt McCoy.

Ertz will play a key role as one of the Cardinals' primary pass catchers alongside receivers DeAndre Hopkins and Rondale Moore in 2022.

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