The writing seems to be on the wall for Zach Ertz and the Philadelphia Eagles. The tight end voiced frustrations about his broken-down contract negotiations in September and followed it up with a very disappointing season. This led to a very emotional speech after the Washington game. After a swift changing of the guard in the coaching staff, Tony Pauline reported that the Eagles will indeed be looking to move on from their record-breaking tight end.
If the Eagles trade Ertz prior to June 1st, they save ~$4 million. If they do so after June 1st, they save ~$8 million. It’s hard to see a trade happening that late, however.
While there have been reports that new head coach Nick Sirianni wants to run more 12 personnel than he did in Indianapolis, it’s hard to imagine it will be with Ertz as the focal point. If/when the Eagles look around to see who they can deal Ertz to, which teams should be interested? Let’s let a look:
The Cardinals have been mocked to select TE Kyle Pitts by several draft sites. However, there is a very real possibility that Pitts does not make it to the 16th selection and the Cardinals can’t afford to wait around.
Third-year tight end Dan Arnold showed some flashes this year, but an established veteran like Ertz could unlock the Cardinals’ offense. The combination of Murray, Hopkins, and Ertz could make them serious players in the NFC West.
The road bump here is that the Cardinals only have five selections in the 2021 draft, so trading a pick would prove difficult unless a pick-swap is involved.
If Wentz doesn’t go here, what about Ertz?
Rivers is gone, so the new Colts QB will need a security blanket to throw to. Jack Doyle and Mo Allie-Cox are not the answers you want at the position and adding Ertz could solve their problems tremendously.
With all seven of their draft picks handy and a ton of cap space, they could most likely part with a 3rd round pick to get it done.
Want to convince Deshaun Watson to stay? Get him a new weapon.
With Will Fuller probably out the door, Kenny Stills already gone, and Randall Cobb turning 31, the Texans need new reliable threats for whomever the quarterback will be.
Jordan Akins has shown flashes since being selected in the third round of the 2018 draft, but when you can land a player like Ertz, you get him.
While an offense of Watson (or Tua?), David Johnson, Brandin Cooks, and Zach Ertz may not be the best in the AFC South, it is markedly better than what they had in 2020.
Houston’s first of eight draft picks doesn’t come until the third round, so this would be a tricky deal.
While it may be too early to move on from their second-round pick in 2019, the Vikings have to be wondering when the Irv Smith Jr. breakout will happen.
In a division where Robert Tonyan and T.J. Hockenson are balling out at the position, Minnesota needs to make a move to improve the tight end spot.
With Kirk Cousins only guaranteed to be in Minnesota for 2021 (or is he?), the Vikings would be wise to add Ertz to the offense that also feature Dalvin Cook, Adam Thielen, and some guy named Justin Jefferson.
Armed with two third-round picks and three fourth-round picks, the Vikings could send a very enticing package to the Eagles.
Another team that may not want to jump the gun on their 2019 second-round pick, the Bengals may have seen enough of a Sample size from their tight end Drew Sample.
See what I did there?
Burrow may be out until mid-October – early-November, but in a division where offenses are improving (maybe not the Steelers) the Bengals need to seize the opportunity to provide their franchise QB with a trusted pass catcher.
Adding Ertz to the Bengals’ offensive arsenal would propel them over the Steelers, in my opinion. With the possibility of drafting Ja’Marr Chase (if Sewell isn’t there), the Bengals could be in line to score 27-30 points a game in 2021.
The Bengals have all of their draft picks, plus an extra seventh round pick.
The Patriots’ leading tight end, Ryan Izzo, had 199 yards. 199.
Yeah, they need an upgrade.
It’s unknown who their quarterback will be in 2021 (Wentz?), but whoever it is needs a reliable target at tight end.
Bill Belichick’s offenses have long had elite tight ends, he may be inclined to overpay (Sanu trade) for one this time. The Patriots do not have a third-round pick, but have a pair of sixth-rounders.
You don’t need to search far for a game where Seattle could’ve used a tight end like Ertz.
Will Dissly had one catch for one yard against the Rams in the WIld Card round. On the season, he had 251 yards on 24 catches.
Russell Wilson with Ertz, Lockett, and Metcalf? NFC West champions yet again.
Seattle only has four picks in the upcoming draft, so this would have to be a pick + player for Ertz if this were an option.
This is probably my favorite destination of the bunch.
A year after the Eagles miss out on Stefon Diggs, could the Eagles send even more firepower to Western New York?
Dawson Knox regressed to 288 yards in his sophomore season after posting 388 in his rookie year. He did play in three less games, but adding Zach Ertz to Josh Allen’s arsenal could further cement the Bills’ status in the AFC East.
Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley, and Zach Ertz? AFC contenders for a long time.
Buffalo has a third round pick, but no fourth. They do have two fifth round picks.
Note: Green Bay and Baltimore both were interested in Ertz prior to his injury, I do not expect that interest to continue into the offseason.
What about you, Eagles fans? Where do you see Ertz landing?
Photo by Nicole Fridling/Icon Sportswire