Zach Ertz

Cardinals, TE Zach Ertz Closing In On Deal

After acquiring tight end Zach Ertz in a trade with the Eagles in mid-October of last year, the Cardinals are finalizing a new multi-year deal for the nine-year veteran, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. The three-year deal is set to keep the 31-year-old among the top-10 highest-paid tight ends in the NFL. 

Ertz is a three-time Pro Bowler who set the NFL-record for single-season receptions for a tight end in 2018 with 116 catches, which trailed only Saints’ receiver Michael Thomas for the league lead among all pass-catchers. Ertz was consistently productive in Philadelphia, recording five-straight seasons with at least 800 receiving yards.

After taking a back seat role to the Eagles’ younger tight end Dallas Goedert, the Cardinals made the move to acquire Ertz and watched him thrive in the new system. Ertz’s 11 games in Arizona in 2021 showed far more production than the 11 games he played in Philadelphia the year prior. With wide receivers Christian Kirk and A.J. Green set to hit the free agent market this week, locking down their tight end was a must.

The three-year deal will be worth $31.65MM with a guaranteed amount of $17.5MM. The annual average value of $10.55MM ranks 10th among NFL tight ends, just below David Njoku, Mike Gesicki, and Dalton Schultz, who got franchise tagged for $10.93MM. With this deal Ertz is now off the crowded tight end market, along with the three who were tagged. Remaining options for those looking for tight ends are C.J. Uzomah, Robert Tonyan, Evan Engram, and Will Dissly.

Cards’ Owner Bidwill On Kyler Murray

With everything starting to appear copacetic between the Cardinals and quarterback Kyler Murray, the team’s owner, Michael Bidwill, addressed the 24-year-old’s future in Arizona, as reported by Jeremy Cluff of The Arizona Republic. As Murray heads into the fourth year of his rookie contract, Bidwill discussed the possibility for an extension. 

“The window has just opened for a contract extension. Certainly he’s part of our long-term plan,” Bidwill said of Murray. “Most of the big ones are done further down the road, I think Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen were done in the summer time. Others were done in the summer time. So we’ve got time, but they’re complicated.”

In respect to the turmoil surrounding the quarterback, Bidwill claimed he and Murray have had “good conversations non-stop.”

While expressing the desire to give Murray an extension out of his rookie contract, Bidwill also acknowledged that the team has other priorities, as well, namely bringing back some key free agents. He recently expressed his wishes to retain two-time All-Pro linebacker Chandler Jones, which Jones appeared scoff at. Newcomers to the desert, running back James Conner and tight end Zach Ertz, have both made it known that they would be more than happy to consider re-signing.

Other Cardinals headed to free agency include running back Chase Edmonds, wide receiver Christian Kirk, veteran wideout A.J. Green, and tight end Maxx Williams. While the Cardinals’ owner is looking forward to finding a way to keep Murray long-term, he and his front office have some work to do in the meantime.

Zach Ertz Interested In Cardinals Return

A contract impasse overshadowed Zach Ertz‘s final two seasons with the Eagles, and the former Pro Bowler is headed for free agency coming off a bounce-back stretch with the Cardinals.

Ertz, 31, indicated (via AZCardinals.com’s Darren Urban) he would “love to” be part of the next Cardinals team. This will be Ertz’s first crack at free agency, however, and likely his final shot at a notable payday. He angled for a top-market deal back in 2020.

I still feel like we have unfinished business as a team. I would love to be part of it,” Ertz said, before adding the Cardinals have “a lot of good players who are free agents as well.”

Arizona has a higher-profile free agent in Chandler Jones, who submitted a trade request ahead of his contract year. Jones played out that deal and returned to the Pro Bowl following an injury-limited 2020. The 31-year-old edge rusher profiles as the Cards’ top free agent. Arizona also faces interesting decisions on its skill-position corps, which could lose a few key cogs come March. James Conner, Chase EdmondsChristian Kirk and A.J. Green are unsigned for 2022. Maxx Williams is also set for free agency, thinning out the Cardinals’ tight end corps. The team faces these key choices as Kyler Murray becomes eligible for a monster extension, having played the necessary three seasons to reach this stage.

The Cards reside as a middle-of-the-pack team in terms of projected cap space, though it is very early. The Eagles redid Ertz’s deal three times, and the contract voids ahead of the 2022 league year. After a down 2020, Ertz returned to form to help the Cardinals to the playoffs. The ninth-year tight end caught 56 passes for 574 yards in just 11 games as a Cardinal, finishing the season with 763 yards total and five touchdowns. Since moving to Arizona in 1988, the Cardinals had not enjoyed much luck generating notable tight end production. Ertz changed that, with his Cards yardage total surpassing every other tight end’s single-season output from the franchise’s Arizona era.

A few starting tight ends will hit the market in March, barring extensions. Evan Engram, David Njoku, Gerald Everett, Eric Ebron, C.J. Uzomah and Robert Tonyan are among the names without 2022 contracts. Rob Gronkowski is also a free agent, but he is unlikely to depart Tampa if Tom Brady opts to return for a 23rd season.

Eagles Trade Zach Ertz To Cardinals

The Eagles have traded Zach Ertz to the Cardinals in exchange for rookie cornerback Tay Gowan and a 2022 fifth-round draft pick. The deal is now official, per an announcement from both clubs. 

Ertz was once a focal point of the Birds’ offense, but he’s been relegated to a secondary role behind Dallas Goedert. With one season left on his five-year, $42.5MM deal, the Eagles have turned their surplus into draft capital.

Ertz, 31 in November, finished last year with just 36 catches for 335 yards and one touchdown in eleven games. But, before that, he made three straight Pro Bowls from 2017-19 and consistently performed as one of the league’s best tight ends. So far this year, the veteran has 18 catches for 189 yards and two scores in six games.

The Cardinals will be responsible for the rest of Ertz’s salary, approximately $5.5MM. Ideally, he’d like an extension, but that’ll probably wait until after the season. The Cardinals will have much more utility for Ertz than the Eagles did since they’ve lost Maxx Williams for the year with a knee injury. Ertz will likely serve as the Cardinals’ TE1 with support from Darrell Daniels and Demetrius Harris. Beyond those three, the Cards also have Ross Travis on the practice squad, though they released recently-acquired veteran Richard Rodgers from the p-squad in the wake of the Ertz deal.

After years of iffy tight end production, Arizona finally has a proven option in Ertz. He delivered 335 yards in a down year with five missed games; the Cardinals haven’t had a TE top 600 yards in a season since moving to Arizona in 1988.

Vikings Inquired About Dallas Goedert Trade

The Eagles have two tight ends with uncertain futures. Dallas Goedert is in a contract year. So is Zach Ertz, who spent the offseason as a trade candidate. This situation prompted the Vikings to reach out.

Despite Ertz being the one viewed as on the way out all year, the Vikings proceeded to contact the Eagles on Goedert’s potential availability, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com notes (ESPN+ link). This inquiry came following the news Irv Smith Jr. would be out for the season.

Smith’s injury altered the Vikings’ tight end plan, but they did not end up prying away Goedert, who is due for free agency in 2022. It is unclear if the Vikes also asked about Ertz, whose $8.5MM 2021 base salary made him a less enticing trade piece than Goedert ($1.2MM).

Regardless, the Eagles opted to keep Goedert, leading the Vikings to acquire Chris Herndon from the Jets in August. Through five games, Herndon does not have a catch with Minnesota. Tyler Conklin, whom the Vikings selected in the 2018 fifth round, has stepped in as Smith’s primary replacement.

Goedert is currently on the Eagles’ reserve/COVID-19 list after testing positive this week. He will not play against the Buccaneers tonight, putting Ertz back in the TE1 position he held for years. At multiple junctures this offseason, Ertz believed he would be traded, Fowler adds. But he and Nick Sirianni established a strong rapport. This and the Eagles viewing themselves as a potential contender scuttled an offseason trade.

Seven-point underdogs against the Bucs, the Eagles would drop to 2-4 with a loss. That could put an Ertz trade back on the front burner. This year’s deadline is Nov. 2. Ertz and the Eagles were unable to come to terms on an extension during an acrimonious 2020, and his value has since declined after a down 2020 season. Ertz, however, changed his tune about staying in Philadelphia. Just before the season, Ertz said he wanted to retire an Eagle. The 30-year-old pass catcher has 14 receptions for 160 yards and a touchdown this season.

Eagles Activate TE Zach Ertz From COVID-19 List

Zach Ertz‘s stint on the Reserve/COVID-19 list won’t knock him out of Monday’s game. The Eagles activated their veteran tight end today, the team announced. The team had an open roster spot, so no corresponding move was necessary.

Ertz landed on the COVID list earlier this week, but there was hope that he’d be able to play Monday night against the Cowboys (pending the results of his vaccination status/test results).

The team somewhat prepared for a potential Ertz absence when they added tight end Richard Rodgers to their practice squad earlier this week. Earlier this week, head coach Nick Sirianni acknowledged that the offense has to remain flexible based on Ertz’s status.

“You have to have double-plans out there. And so, without getting too much into that, it’s just everything has to be double-planned,” Sirianni said (via Chris McPherson of the team’s website). “You have to back it up of what you want to have in. Do you want to be in 12-personnel, do you want to be in 11-personnel? And so you just have to back up everything. This is just something that we’ve had to do and the nature of the business in the NFL.”

Now, the team can move forward with their standard depth chart of Dallas Goedert, Ertz, and Jack Stoll.

The 30-year-old has officially been relegated to a secondary role behind Goedert this season. Through two games, he has just three catches for 40 yards. This comes after a down year of 36/335/1 in eleven games, coupled with an offseason standoff with the organization. The veteran has just one year to go on his five-year, $42.5MM deal, putting him in line for free agency this spring.

Eagles Place TE Zach Ertz On COVID-19 List

The Eagles have placed tight end Zach Ertz on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, per a club announcement. Pending his vaccination status/test results, Ertz could still be eligible to play on Monday night against the Cowboys. But, for now, Ertz has been moved off of the roster. 

The Eagles now have an additional roster spot to fill if Ertz is not ready in time for Week 3. They presently have two healthy TEs in Dallas Goedert and Jack Stoll; it’s unlikely that they’d go into Monday night without a third.

Ertz has either tested positive for COVID-19 or has been in close contact with an infected person, but his status is unclear. Ertz, 31 in November, has been relegated to a secondary role behind Goedert. Through two games, he has just three catches for 40 yards. This comes after a down year of 36/335/1 in eleven games.

The veteran has just one year to go on his five-year, $42.5MM deal, putting him in line for free agency this spring.

Zach Ertz Wants To Stay With Eagles

Zach Ertz has had a change of heart. In his first public comments of the offseason, the tight end told reporters that he wants to stay with the Eagles. 

This is the place I want to be, this is the place I want to retire,” Ertz said (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo). “I’m moving on from everything that happened this offseason. There have been apologies…I love this city too much to burn it down.”

Ertz added that things have been “mended” with the team, so it sounds like all is well for the time being. It’s a huge turnaround from where things were just weeks ago. The three-time Pro Bowler pushed for a trade and, while he still reported to training camp, his Philly future was in doubt. The Eagles tried to oblige, but they couldn’t find a suitable deal for Ertz or his contract.

Ertz, 31 in November, is coming off of a down year. Now, with one season to go on his five-year, $42.5MM deal, he’s willing to stick it out. It remains to been seen whether Ertz will get an extension to help smooth things over, or whether he’ll be comfortable with his role in the long run. Once a focal point of the Eagles’ offense, Ertz figures to cede many of his targets to Dallas Goedert.

Eagles Expect TE Zach Ertz On Roster To Start Season

Zach Ertz may continue to push for a trade out of Philadelphia, but the organization is expecting him to play for the Eagles…at least for Week 1. GM Howie Roseman told reporters that he anticipates the veteran tight end being on the Eagles roster for the start of the 2021 season.

“When you talk about Zach, it doesn’t take a lot to get him here. He cares so much about this team and this city. Just really good to see him out there,” Roseman said (via ESPN’s Tim McManus). “When you talk about the guys that are here and the kind of player that he is and you think about our young skill position group and having a Pro Bowl player like that on your roster players can learn from, it’s huge for us.”

Ertz reported to training camp yesterday, but the veteran still wants to be traded. The three-time Pro Bowler reportedly hasn’t “forgotten or forgiven” the Birds for their apparent disagreements, and his decision to attend camp was presumably about avoiding fines. Of course, the Eagles would have to find a taker for Ertz, and while they’ve gotten a few bites, the organization still hasn’t found an offer to their liking.

Ertz will turn 31 in November and he’s coming off of a down year. With one season left on his five-year, $42.5MM deal, it’s hard to say whether Roseman will get what he wants. Of course, Ertz’s issues with the Eagles have been extremely public, so teams are willing to wait things out until the price comes down. Roseman’s comments from today could simply be posturing as he continues to find a suitor.

Zach Ertz Reports To Eagles

Zach Ertz has clocked in. The Eagles tight end reported to training camp on Tuesday, avoiding fines and further friction with team management. 

Ertz and the Eagles have been at odds throughout the offseason. However, he still wants a trade to take him out of Philadelphia, according recent word from NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo (via Twitter). Ertz, he says, hasn’t “forgotten or forgiven” the Birds for all the disagreements they’ve had. So, just because Ertz is in the building, that doesn’t mean that he’ll be on the roster come September.

The Eagles have gotten some bites, but no one has been willing to meet GM Howie Roseman’s asking price. He reportedly wants a third or fourth-round pick, but Ertz will turn 31 in November and he’s coming off of a down year. With one season left on his five-year, $42.5MM deal, it’s hard to say whether Roseman will get what he wants. Of course, Ertz’s issues with the Eagles have been extremely public, so teams are willing to wait things out until the price comes down.

Before the drama and the down year Ertz three consecutive Pro Bowls from 2017-19. For years, he consistently performed as one of the league’s better tight ends. Even if some suitors can’t afford his cap hit, there are plenty of teams that could use a player like him.