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By Michael Bennett

The mystery has been solved.

Eagles center Jason Kelce showed up 10 days ago with blond hair, just like his pal tight end Zach Ertz.

Turns out there is a connection.

Kelce thought tight end Zach Ertz would get traded after Ertz expressed his displeasure over his contract last season before giving what seemed like a tearful farewell in his postseason press conference in January.

The rumors persisted throughout the spring and as training camp approached. So when Kelce and Ertz started working out together at the NovaCare Complex, the two made a bet.

Ertz had just dyed his hair blond, and Kelce said if Ertz was still on the roster for the season opener that he, too, would dye his hair blond. Ertz took the bet as he expected to remain an Eagle.

Sure enough, Ertz was still an Eagle as the opener approached last week, so Kelce paid up.

“I was betting that he was going to get traded because I firmly thought he was going to get traded,” Kelce said ysterday. “It’s a bet I’m happy to lose. (I’m) not happy with the hair, but happy that I lost the bet.”

Ertz, who has been selected to the Pro Bowl three times in his career, and he set the record for receptions by a tight end in a single season with 116 in 2018, missed five games with a broken ankle that required surgery after the season, even though he played the final six games of the season before it had fully healed. Ertz described that as “freakin’ debilitating” as the Eagles went through a 4-11-1 season.

Afterward, head coach Doug Pederson was fired and quarterback Carson Wentz, one of Ertz’s best friends, was traded, and several other veterans weren’t brought back.


Ertz, who’s 30, also was due $8.5 million this season, the final year of his contract.

So the trade desires seemed mutual for both Ertz and the Eagles. And yet, Ertz stayed, saying last week that he “mended faces” and “apologies were made.”

Ertz had two catches for 34 yards last Sunday in the Eagles’ 32-6 win over the Atlanta Falcons.

Kelce wouldn’t say how long he had to keep his hair dyed blond, but he’s not a big fan of it. Neither is his wife. And looking back, Kelce said he should have known Ertz was coming back when they made the bet in July.

“I think (Ertz) might have known at that point (that he was staying), which is why I’m sitting here with this hair,” Kelce said with a laugh. “A little inside information.

“He had just started working back out in the facility, which probably should’ve been another sign to me that he’d be coming back. Really happy that Zach is still here.”

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