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Eagles News: Zach Ertz is ‘just one of a few very high-profile Philly thirtysomethings who have elicited’ trade interest

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 3/8/21.

Philadelphia Eagles v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...

How the Salary Cap Squeeze Will Impact the NFL Over the Next Few Weeks - MMQB
Even if the TV deals get done and provide some relief—and that’s the hope of many (and even then, most of the deals won’t kick in until 2023, which means the union would still have to negotiate the NFL borrowing against future years to fund this year’s cap)—that fifth highway lane isn’t coming back. So right now, most are working on ways to merge on to the NFL’s metaphorical four-lane fiscal freeway. The first way to do it, for the more cap-strapped teams, will be to try to get value back for some high-end, high-salaried players. As such, there are a lot of names that have been floated for trades in football circles over the last couple weeks. Here are some: [...] Eagles TE Zach Ertz: The writing’s been on the wall here for a while. The Eagles can save close to $5 million on the cap (and $8.25 million in cash) by moving him. And he’s just one of a few very high-profile Philly thirtysomethings who have elicited phone calls.

Report: Zach Ertz trade “could happen in the coming days” - BGN
Of course, one must wonder about the motivation behind Silver’s report. Are the Eagles leaking this to him in an effort to spark the market for Ertz? Because it’s quite possible teams aren’t offering much to Philly and hoping they’ll have to just cut him instead. Or maybe the intel is genuine and we’ll really see Ertz moved for something. I just can’t imagine his value is going to be that high. The Eagles lack leverage. Ertz is on the wrong side of 30 and he’s coming off the worst season of his career. Maybe Howie Roseman can get a fifth-round pick for him, at best? Remember, the Eagles can’t rely on trading Ertz to get under the cap since those savings don’t come into effect until AFTER the new league year begins. If the Eagles receive a worthwhile offer for Ertz, they’ll have to clear enough space to temporarily keep him past the league year. If the Eagles don’t receive a worthwhile offer for Ertz, they’ll likely just end up cutting him.

Eagles Extra Q&A: LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase or Alabama’s DeVonta Smith at No. 6? Why hasn’t Zach Ertz been traded yet? - NJ.com
Q: Why is this Zach Ertz trade taking forever? ... Kaye: There are a couple of things to consider with Ertz: A) his contract is essentially a one-year, $8 million deal and B) the rest of the tight end market is in flux. With the Minnesota Vikings cutting TE Kyle Rudolph this week, the Eagles have some open competition on the market. A team acquiring Rudolph won’t need to trade away assets and can probably sign the veteran tight end at a relatively cheap cost in comparison to Ertz. Remember, the league’s salary cap floor has been set, but the actual number isn’t in place, so teams are likely biding their time before committing to massive deals. Instead, they are focusing on cutting costs, as the Vikings did with Rudolph. That said, the Eagles’ trade value for Ertz is likely waning. As teams continue to cut notable talent — especially at the tight end position — the market favors buyers, who won’t want to give up additional assets in a trade. That outlook could lead to a very small return for Ertz on the trade market, unless he is willing to rework and/or potentially extend his deal on the cheap. Teams know that the Eagles aren’t likely to keep Ertz beyond the start of the new league, so perhaps they are just waiting for this thing to sort itself out and hoping the Eagles simply grant Ertz his release.

Ertz On The Move? - Iggles Blitz
This all sounds great and makes sense, but it is possible this is another case of Howie Roseman trying to create a trade market. It is easy to wonder why a team would trade for Ertz. The Eagles will have to cut him if they can’t find a trade partner. Why deal for a player you can just wait on? Some team might think Ertz could be a key addition for them and be willing to make a deal. We certainly have to hope that’s the case. The Eagles aren’t going to get anything of consequence in return. I’d love a fourth round pick, but I’m not even sure about that. There is also the possibility of using Ertz to move up in the draft. Those deals usually happen closer to the draft, but some get done in March. The key is to get something, whether a pick or some draft value.

Special: The top Eagles draft questions w/Sports Info Solutions - BGN Radio
Brandon Lee Gowton speaks with Nathan Cooper and John Todd of Sports Info Solutions to talk about the top of the 2021 NFL Draft and all the questions for the Eagles!

Mailbag: Thoughts on the Eagles’ and Ravens’ proposed rule changes - PhillyVoice
From a viewer enjoyment perspective, it feels like a no-brainer to me. When the receiving team knows an onside kick is coming, there’s almost nothing fun about it. Even on the now very unlikely chance the kicking team recovers the onside kick, it’s almost always just a pile-up, while the viewer waits for the officials to signal who has the ball. I mean, what’s fun about that? A 4th and 15 scenario is so much more dramatic, and puts the game in the hands of players that fans actually care about, as opposed to special teamers. But I also like to think of it in terms of the 4th and 15 thing having always existed, and some team tried to change it to an onside kick. Like, can you imagine the sales pitch for that? “So we were thinking, perhaps instead of allowing the scoring team to try to keep possession of the ball with a 4th and 15 play from their own 25, we should replace that with something we’ll call an ‘onside kick.’ The team that just scored has to kick the ball, making sure it hits the ground, and they can recover it as long as it goes at least 10 yards. Surely the fans will enjoy these ‘onside kicks’ more than one of the most exciting plays in our great sport.”

In This 2021 NFL Draft Primer, Uncertainty Is No. 1 Overall Prospect - FMIA
QB3. Mac Jones, Alabama. A machine. Best processor of information I’ve seen this year—the way Joe Burrow was. Throws a perfect spiral that hits the bullseye almost every throw. The way Alabama called plays, you could tell they trusted him more than Tua.

Free Agent Fizzle: A bad year for free agents looking for a payday - Hogs Haven
There will be a lot of bargains to be had for teams that are patient and clear in the types of players they want to target. The top one or two free agents in each position group will get signed quickly, and then the well will be nearly dry for most teams. Dozens — maybe hundreds — of veteran players will be looking for work, and the teams won’t have money to pay them what the players believe they believe they are worth. This could be good news for Washington as they try to re-sign or replace a guy like Ronald Darby, who, in a normal year might have been able to create a Dutch auction for his services, but who, in 2021, may find himself trying to find milk in a dry teat.

New York Giants offseason plan: Filling holes on the defense - Big Blue View
What to do about Leonard Williams and Dalvin Tomlinson has to be where this conversation starts. Williams — I have said over and over that, in my view, Williams and his multi-faceted skill set has to be the priority over the run-stuffing Tomlinson if only one can be signed. I am also on record as saying that I would not use the franchise tag on Williams. I simply believe that devoting $19.4 million (or more, if Williams wins a grievance to be considered a defensive end) would cripple the Giants’ ability to add useful players to the rest of the roster. A four-year deal somewhere between $72 and $80 million that would allow the 2021 cap hit to be kept as low as possible is what I would be aiming for. [BLG Note: The Giants will lose their 2021 fourth-round pick instead of their 2021 fifth-round pick if/when they re-sign Williams.]

How the Cardinals signing of J.J. Watt could benefit the Cowboys - Blogging The Boys
With free agency on the horizon, it’s no shock that the Dallas Cowboys have work to do retaining their own players as well as looking for talent to add to the roster. Now that J.J. Watt has signed with the Arizona Cardinals, Cowboys fans can refocus their attention on players the Cowboys can actually sign. And as luck would have it, the signing of Watt may have opened the door for the Cowboys to pursue two Cardinal players who are now free agents, one on offense and defense. The idea has been floated that the Cowboys need to go after Patrick Peterson on the defensive side. Not so fast. Peterson, while having a down year in 2020, will likely still be out of the Cowboys price range. Instead, the Cowboys should focus their efforts on cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick. Kirkpatrick, while not on Peterson’s level, is still a good cornerback and had his moments last season where it showed.

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