Zach Ertz is not among a group of veteran Eagles players reporting for Phase 2 of Philadelphia’s voluntary spring workouts. The 30-year-old tight end is not expected to attend the remainder of the Eagles’ offseason program, according to the Inquirer.
Zach Ertz, understandably, wasn’t one of the #Eagles veterans to report today for the start of the voluntary Phase 2, a source said. He isn’t expected to report for the remainder of the offseason program or until his situation is resolved (read: he’s traded or released). https://t.co/ZxeVP5JzTD— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) May 17, 2021
Some have wondered if the Eagles might just keep Ertz at this point but it seems pretty clear he still wants out. A recap of the Ertz timeline over the course of this offseason:
- January 3: Ertz stands on the sideline with Carson Wentz and Jason Kelce long after the team’s Week 17 loss to Washington.
- January 4: Ertz essentially says a tearful goodbye to Philadelphia in his post-season press conference.
- January 14: Ertz’s younger brother, Nic, appears on BGN Radio’s Babes On Board podcast and talks about how Zach won’t be back.
- January 28: Tony Pauline says he was “told unequivocally today that tight end Zach Ertz will not play for the Philadelphia Eagles next year.”
- February 14: The Eagles reportedly speak to the Seattle Seahawks and Indianapolis Colts about an Ertz trade. The Los Angeles Chargers and Los Angeles Rams are also reportedly interested.
- March 3: NFL Network reports an Ertz trade “could happen in the coming days.”
- March 14: NFL Network reports Ertz has “grown increasingly impatient” with the Eagles. They also report that the Eagles insist they will not release Ertz.
- March 16: NFL Network reports the Eagles are “not in a rush” to trade Ertz and they’re “not just going to give him away.”
- March 16: NFL Network reports the Eagles have given Ertz permission to seek a trade.
- April 27: Inside The Birds reports the Eagles are going to trade Zach Ertz “by the end of the draft for sure.” The Eagles did not trade Ertz during the draft.
Given the apparent lack of interest in Ertz, one might think he should want to stay in Philly. He’s set to earn an $8.5 million salary on the last year of his contract in 2021.
Then again, even if he could be convinced to stay (which seems unlikely based on all we’ve heard), the Eagles might not want to keep him around at his $12.7 million cap number when they can cut or trade him to clear $8.5 million after June 1. We might see a resolution to this situation once that date passes. If Ertz is still on the roster when mandatory minicamp begins on June 8, he’ll be subject to being fined if he doesn’t show up.
A handsome reporter asked Sirianni about Ertz’s status during his virtual press conference last week. Here was the exchange:
Q. Just wanted to ask about Zach Ertz. Obviously, Howie Roseman was asked about him during the draft. There’s been speculation that he’s been given permission to seek a trade. Have you personally talked with him and have you stressed that you want him here in Philly? (Brandon Lee Gowton)
NICK SIRIANNI: I’ve talked to Zach, but my conversation with Zach, I’m going to keep that between Zach and I, but let’s just be honest, of course Zach is a great football player. He’s showed that he’s a great football player for a very long time. Man, he’s made a ton of plays. I got to see a ton of tape on Zach. Obviously, when I got here this year and then also in 2018, my first year with the Colts, we watched a ton. So Zach is a heck of a football player, and he’s been a heck of a football player for a long time in this league.
Ertz’s legacy isn’t in doubt. His future with the Eagles still very much is. He still seems to be set on forcing his way out.