On Tuesday night, the Philadelphia Eagles officially gave long-time tight end Zach Ertz permission to seek a trade, according to Ian Rapoport. Several teams have already been engaged. Ertz has been an Eagle since they drafted him in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Over his eight years in Philadelphia, the Stanford alum was selected to three Pro Bowls. He had 561 catches for 6,078 yards and 36 touchdowns. His career catches are the fourth-most for a tight end in NFL history while he has the ninth-most receiving yards. Ertz also holds the record for most receptions by a tight end in a single season in NFL history, with 116 catches in 2018. He is a hero in Philadelphia, as he caught the go-ahead touchdown pass in the fourth quarter of the team’s first Super Bowl win over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII.
Another example how the 2017 Eagles were the perfect storybook:— Eagles Fan Problems (@EagleFanProbs) August 7, 2018
Zach Ertz, who had been ridiculed his whole career about not getting yards after the catch, does this to score the Super Bowl-winning touchdown: pic.twitter.com/W6kxiIOhLD
The Eagles are seeking a third- or fourth-round pick for the 30-year-old tight end. But they may not be able to get that as he is coming off a season in which he finished with a career-low 36 catches for 335 yards a touchdown. He was also battling an ankle injury. Ertz is still under contract on a five-year, $42.5 million deal and any team that acquires him would take a $12.5 million cap hit. Let’s take a look at the five teams that could be a great landing spot for Ertz.
This is the most obvious spot for Ertz. He would reunite with his good buddy Carson Wentz, along with Frank Reich and Press Taylor. The Colts have Jack Doyle, Noah Togiai, Farrod Green, and Andrew Vollert under contract currently. The Doyle-Ertz TE pairing would be a great one, with Mo Alie-Cox being a solid No. 3 if he returns. The Colts placed a second-round tender on the unrestricted free agent on Tuesday night. Providing Wentz with a security blanket that he is familiar with would be huge, especially if both he and Ertz can bounce back from their subpar 2020 seasons.
Dawson Knox was decent last year as he had 288 yards and three touchdowns in seven starts. Adding a veteran like Ertz would really benefit the Bills. Knox was drafted in 2019 and the veteran presence in Ertz would help develop the young Buffalo TE corps. Josh Allen was an MVP candidate last year with a solid receiving corps and adding Ertz would make their top-three passing offense even more potent.
Los Angeles Chargers
With Hunter Henry agreeing to a deal with the Patriots on Tuesday, the Chargers have a big void to fill at tight end. Justin Herbert was very solid last season, winning the Offensive Rookie of the Year, and adding a player like Ertz would develop even further. He is a well-rounded tight end like Henry and would be a great replacement. The Chargers have two third-round picks in this year’s draft and could send one over for Ertz if they are willing to pay that price. A fourth-round pick is probably more likely, however.
The Jaguars are of course going to be drafting Trevor Lawrence in just over 40 days now. As talented as T-Law is, he would greatly benefit from a solid checkdown option in Ertz. Jacksonville has a lackluster tight end room and they declined the option on Tyler Eifert. They added Marvin Jones Jr. to their receiving corps on Tuesday. Adding another solid weapon in Ertz would be a great addition for Lawrence.
The Bengals have four tight ends under contract but Ertz would be a major upgrade. C.J. Uzomah is the top tight end and is making his way back from a torn Achilles, and his backup Drew Sample is entering his third season. Sample played decently in his second season, but adding a guy like Ertz to the room would greatly improve Joe Burrow‘s weapons. He would also be a great leader for the young Sample. If the Bengals were to make a move for Ertz, they may need to move on from Uzomah or one of the tight ends lower down on the depth chart.
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