UPDATE: The Los Angeles Chargers and Los Angeles Rams are also in the mix to trade for Ertz, with the former LA team more seriously interested. This much according to Conor Myles from Eagle Maven. Myles also adds:
“Ertz would like a resolution to his future sooner rather than later, adding that if a deal does not come to fruition in the next couple of weeks, the Eagles tight end is expected to ask for his release in March.”
ORIGINAL STORY BELOW.
The Philadelphia Eagles have spoken to the Indianapolis Colts and the Seattle Seahawks about a Zach Ertz trade, according to a report from Ed Kracz from Eagle Maven.
This report lines up with what we’ve been hearing about Ertz this offseason. Back in January, Tony Pauline said he was “told unequivocally that [...] Ertz will not play for the Philadelphia Eagles next year.” Not long after that, Stampede Blue reported that Ertz was drawing interest from the Colts.
Ertz, who turns 31 this season and desires a contract extension, doesn’t fit the timeline for an Eagles team that’s aiming to get younger. The Birds can either trade or cut him to clear $4.7 million in much-needed cap space relief this offseason.
The important thing to note there, however, is that Ertz can’t be traded to help the Eagles get under the cap (they’re currently $49 million OVER) before the new league year starts on March 17. If they want to trade him, they’ll have to find other ways to clear enough space to keep him past the official start of free agency. Otherwise, the Eagles might just have to release Ertz.
It remains to be seen what — if anything — the Eagles can get for Ertz in a trade. He’s on the wrong side of 30 and he’s coming off the worst season of his career. He’ll likely rebound to some extent in 2021 and perhaps even beyond that. But it’s not like his value is high right now. And teams aren’t going to be super desperate to trade for him when there’s a chance the Eagles will have to cut him.
There has been some talk that the Eagles might package Ertz and Carson Wentz together in a trade. Indy is certainly a logical fit for both players with Frank Reich there. Maybe that’s the move.
In any case, it’s a bummer that the Eagles reached this point with Ertz. He’s a future Eagles Hall of Famer who caught the team’s only game-winning Super Bowl touchdown pass. He’s also only 29 receptions away from becoming the franchise’s all-time leader in that category.
One would hope the Eagles will be able to fetch something in return for him. That there seems to be some kind of market could be a positive sign in that regard. But there’s no guarantee that they won’t just be forced to let him walk.