A week ago today, NFL Network reported that a Zach Ertz trade “could happen in the coming days.”
Alas, it did not. It’s almost like the Eagles leaked that out in an attempt to create a (false) sense of urgency and teams (predictably) didn’t fall for it!
All the while, Ertz has “grown increasingly impatient” with the Eagles for not either trading or releasing him. The following comes from NFL insider Tom Pelissero:
“The Eagles insist they will not release their three-time Pro Bowl tight end Zach Ertz. And with multiple teams having shown interest in a trade, I’m told Ertz has grown increasingly impatient with the team to get something done. To this point, the price has just been too high for other teams. The Eagles have been looking for a draft pick — something in the third, maybe fourth-round range. Ertz is due $8.5 million in the last year of his contract in 2021. It’s not an astronomical number, but, remember, he’s 31 years old, he’s coming off an injury, it’s hard to get that kind of draft pick compensation. So, while the Eagles are insistent they’d be happy to have Ertz on the roster in 2021 — remember, his good friend Carson Wentz already traded to the Colts — it certainly sounds like Ertz is eager for a fresh start here.”
There’s nothing wrong with aiming high in negotiations. But the Eagles just aren’t going to get a third-round pick or a fourth-round pick in return for Ertz when teams suspect Philly will cut him. Ertz clearly wants to move on and the Eagles stand to benefit from clearing $4.95 million in cap space with his departure. It’s pretty hard to imagine a scenario where Ertz plays for the Eagles in 2021. That ship has seemingly sailed.
And so it feels like it’s just a matter of time before the Eagles come to terms with as much and release him. Maybe they manage to surprise and trade him for, say, a fifth-round pick ... but that feels pretty optimistic at this point. Best case scenario outcome.