Now that Carson Wentz has finally moved, I suppose it makes sense to also move on from his favorite target. Of course, that’s not the only reason that the Philadelphia Eagles may want to pull a Zach Ertz trade. He’s on the last year of his deal, he wasn’t effective last year and moving him would save the Eagles money. Plus, they have his natural replacement already on the roster in Dallas Goedert.
With all those reasons in mind, many sources are reporting that the Eagles are trying to deal Ertz. According to Mike Silver, multiple teams are also interested in a Zach Ertz trade.
Zach Ertz, A History
It will be sad to see Ertz go. He’s been one of the best tight ends in the league for the past five seasons. Drafted in the second round of the 2013 draft, it only took him a few years to become a major contributor to the Eagles passing game. As early as 2015, he was the Eagles second-leading receiver and seventh in NFL tight end yards. In 2017, he finally managed to add touchdowns to his game, including the most important of his career — the game-winning touchdown in Super Bowl 52. That was also his first year making the Pro Bowl.
He went on to make two more Pro Bowls in a row, breaking the 100-catch and 1,000-yard marks in 2018. He then followed that up with another solid season in 2019, going for 900 yards and six touchdowns. However, 2020 was a struggle for him. He got hurt and missed five games, posting career-lows in catches, yards and touchdowns. Poor quarterback play didn’t help, but it didn’t look like Ertz was giving it his all either. He knew his days in Philly were numbered.
Potential Zach Ertz Trade Partners
The Indianapolis Colts seem like a good fit for a Zach Ertz trade. They have the cap room and could reunite Wentz and Ertz. The Colts also don’t have a clear weapon at tight end, as they went with a three-headed monster of Jack Doyle, Mo Alie-Cox and Trey Burton. Only Doyle is on contract going into 2021. They also want to win, so taking a one-year flier on a veteran tight end who has 1,000-yard potential isn’t a bad move at all.
The Los Angeles Rams have no money or picks really, but they could use a good safety valve for Matthew Stafford. They are clearly all-in for the near future, and Tyler Higbee was pretty average last year. The Buffalo Bills, Arizona Cardinals and Minnesota Vikings are the other teams that have a clear need at tight end and are in a window to compete. So, there are a lot of teams that could really use what Ertz brings to the table.
The Eagles still have leverage in this situation. Ertz, on a competing team, with a new contract, is still a valuable pass catcher. He still has a good reputation in the league, as evidenced by other QBs reportedly pushing to trade for him. The Eagles don’t really need to move him either. His contract isn’t stopping them from making the playoffs, and the Eagles in the past have liked two tight end sets. If the Eagles can find a deal for a second or multiple thirds (as long as it’s more than the compensatory pick they would get for letting him walk), they shouldn’t hesitate to pull the trigger. If they can’t, there’s no real need to ship Ertz out right now like there was for Wentz.
Eagles News Quick Hits:
Brandon Brooks reportedly also in trade discussions. The three-time Pro Bowler missed all of last year with a torn Achilles. Unless the compensation is hefty, giving up a top guard that can help protect a young, potential franchise QB doesn’t seem wise. Unless, of course, the Eagles don’t believe he will return from his injury 100%.
Chris Mortenson reported that the Eagles are committed to Jalen Hurts for this year and don’t want to bring competition in for him. Is it a bit of irony or lesson learned from what happened to Wentz this year? I’m not sure, but if that means we aren’t drafting a QB, that’s okay with me.