It’s no surprise that the Philadelphia Eagles are more than open to trading tight end Zach Ertz this offseason, but now we know a couple of potential destinations.
The Eagles have had conversations about Ertz with the Seattle Seahawks and the Indianapolis Colts, according to SI.com’s Ed Kracz.
It is pretty obvious that Ertz won’t return to the Eagles in 2021. In fact, the Eagles even tried to deal him before the trade deadline during the 2020 season but Ertz’s ankle injury put a stop to that.
Even Ertz seemed to understand the situation when he spoke to reporters after the season ended. Ertz was emotional in a Zoom call that seemed to serve as a goodbye message to Eagles fans after eight years with the organization.
“I’m not someone to hold grudges by any means,” Ertz said the day after the 2020 season ended. “I truly love everything this organization stands for and a lot of because Mr. (Jeff) Lurie, Howie (Roseman) and Doug (Pederson) run it a certain way. Obviously, it is a business. This has kind of been my first taste of that business. So for me I’ll never hold a grudge. Everyone’s trying to do their job to the best of their ability, just like I am each and every week, and I’m excited about the future.”
Before the year, the Eagles and Ertz were unable to come to a long-term contract agreement, which led to some public comments from Ertz and a verbal disagreement with Roseman that was witnessed by others in the NovaCare Complex.
The problem for Ertz was that instead of having a great 2020 season, he really struggled. Even before the ankle injury, Ertz was having the worst statistical season of his career. After three straight Pro Bowl seasons, Ertz had just 36 catches for 335 yards and one touchdown last season.
And now that he’s 30 and still has a base salary of over $8 million in 2021, it’s pretty obvious that the Eagles are likely going to move on.
Trading or releasing Ertz before June 1 would save the Eagles nearly $5 million in much-needed cap space.
On the other hand, how much value does Ertz have?
It’s not easy to figure out.
He declined last season and he’s now over 30, it’s pretty clear that the Eagles want to move on. The Eagles don’t have a ton of leverage in this situation. But if Ertz goes to the right situation, there’s a chance he could end up being a productive player.
The two landing spots mentioned in the SI.com report make sense for different reasons. The Colts still have Jack Doyle under contract, Trey Burton is going to be an unrestricted free agent, and Mo Alie-Cox is going to be a restricted free agent. Ertz is obviously familiar with head coach Frank Reich, so that landing spot would work for several reasons. And the Seahawks could use some help at the position. In 2020, they had Jacob Hollister (25 catches, 209 yards, 3 TDs), Will Dissly (24 catches, 251 yards, 2 TDs), Greg Olsen (24 catches, 239 yards, 1 TD) and Colby Parkinson (2 catches, 16 yards) at tight end. Olsen retired and Hollister is going to be a free agent. So unless the Seahawks are really expecting Parkinson, a Stanford product like Ertz, to really improve in 2021, then that would be a logical landing spot for Ertz too.
And to be honest, Ertz deserves a little better then what he has here in Philadelphia.