PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Zach Ertz couldn't leave Philadelphia without giving us a proper goodbye.
The former Eagles tight end expressed his gratitude and appreciation for the fans, the team and the city in a letter published in Tuesday's Philadelphia Inquirer.
With the headline reading "Thank You, Philly," Ertz reflected on his time with the Birds and how it molded him into the man he is today.
"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 need to reciprocate that back every single day as a member of this team and community," Ertz said.
The California-native was drafted by the Eagles in 2013. He would go on to become a three-time Pro Bowler, but his goal from the start, he said, was to bring a championship to Philly.
"I came 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," Ertz said. "The grit, work, determination and focus that each player provided was incredible and it was solely to provide you with what you deserved."
Defeating the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII led to Ertz's "greatest experience" he had as an Eagle - the parade.
"To be able to celebrate the Lombardi trophy down Broad Street with millions of you was the greatest thing I have 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!" Ertz said.
In his letter, Ertz thanked his family, the team staff, Eagles general manager Howie Roseman, owner Jeffrey Lurie and his teammates, saying, "You guys were the reason I wanted to leave every single thing I had on that football field to make sure I did everything I could to never let you down."
The Eagles traded Ertz to the Arizona Cardinals last week for cornerback Tay Gowan and a 2022 fifth-round pick.
Ertz said he and his wife Julie will leave Philadelphia with "unbelievable memories that no other city could provide."
In 2008, the couple started the Ertz Family Foundation and their work will continue in Philly even though his football career will not.
Ertz said the foundation's House of Hope project will be breaking ground in the next few weeks. They are renovating an old church building which will house 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."
The Ertz Foundation is asking fans to donate $8.60 (a nod to Zach Ertz's Eagles jersey number) to the House of Hope project.
He ended his letter thanking Eagles fans once again for accepting him into the city and letting him be part of the Philly family.
"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 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," Ertz said.
He then echoed his now-famous words from his first post-trade press conference:
"This is home. Philadelphia is home."