Zach Ertz

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.

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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.

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Latest On Eagles TE Zach Ertz

Zach Ertz may still be pushing for his way out of Philadelphia, but that won’t stop him from attending camp. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reports (via Twitter) that the veteran tight end is expected to report to the start of Eagles training camp.

[RELATED: Finding A Zach Ertz Destination]

This echos a report from earlier this week by veteran reporter Howard Eskin (on Twitter), who noted that Ertz would indeed be attending training camp. Eskin took it a step further, noting that Ertz was “over the issues” with the organization, and the reporter believes there’s a “great chance Ertz will be on [the Eagles] at start of season.”

However, Garafolo slightly pushed back at that report. Ertz hasn’t “forgotten or forgiven” the various issues he’s had with the organization, per Garafolo, and the reporter believes there’s still a chance the tight end isn’t on Philly’s roster by the start of the season. Garafolo attributes Ertz’s decision to attend training camp to professionalism, noting that the veteran had never threatened to skip camp. Further, Garafolo says we shouldn’t read too much into the fact that Ertz has recently been working out at team facilities.

We previously heard that Ertz wasn’t going to report to the team “until his situation is resolved,” which we assumed meant he wanted a trade or his release. Ertz was given permission to seek a trade months ago, but nothing has materialized. Although there has reportedly been some interest, no one has been willing to meet GM Howie Roseman’s apparent asking price of a third or fourth-round pick.

Ertz, who will turn 31 in November and is coming off a down year, is entering the final year of his contract. 2020 was a big disappointment, but he made three straight Pro Bowls from 2017-19 and has consistently been one of the league’s better tight ends for a while now.

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Finding A Zach Ertz Destination

Months after Zach Ertz‘s name popped up in trade rumors, he remains with the Eagles. The three-time Pro Bowl tight end is not viewed as likely to be part of this year’s Philly team and did not report for the team’s offseason program. Despite a lengthy delay in this saga, a separation still feels imminent.

Ertz has one season left on the five-year, $42.5MM extension he signed way back in January 2016. The veteran lobbied for a new deal last year, but he and the Eagles could not agree on terms. Those disagreements became rather noticeable as well. Even if some suitors cannot presently afford Ertz’s $12.7MM cap number, which could cause the Eagles to finally release him, the team will likely try to work a trade for a bit longer.

Where will the 30-year-old pass catcher be come Week 1? Here are a few candidates:

Arizona Cardinals

This franchise has not shown a strong interest in bolstering this position in many years, and Kliff Kingsbury — with A.J. Green and Rondale Moore joining DeAndre Hopkins and Christian Kirk — may well opt to deploy more four-receiver sets. That said, the Cardinals’ additions of Green, J.J. Watt, Rodney Hudson, Brian Winters and Malcolm Butler illustrate a commitment to adding veterans to help the cause in a loaded NFC West. The Cards, who have Maxx Williams (304 yards in two Arizona seasons) as their top tight end, have not had a tight end surpass 600 yards in a season since moving to Arizona in 1988.

Buffalo Bills

The team most closely connected to Ertz this offseason, Buffalo has not received much from the tight end position in recent years. And the defending AFC East champions have lacked a higher-end receiving threat at this spot for much of its existence. Five Ertz receiving totals would eclipse the best tight end showing (726 yards) in the Bills’ 61-season history. While the Bills’ Stefon DiggsEmmanuel SandersCole BeasleyGabriel Davis quartet leaves it well-stocked for aerial targets at present, the tight end position has come up as one the franchise would not mind bolstering.

Dawson Knox led Buffalo tight ends with 288 yards last season; the team lost Tyler Kroft in free agency and has second-year player Tommy Sweeney coming off a season in which he encountered severe COVID-19 issues. With the Bills in position to aim for a Super Bowl berth again, another weapon makes sense.

Indianapolis Colts

With Doug Pederson out of the NFL at the moment, the Colts serve as the reunion spot for Ertz. Carson Wentz played with Ertz for five seasons and helped him set a tight end record with 116 catches in 2018. Frank Reich coached Ertz the previous two years, and the Colts could certainly use another viable weapon — even if they figure to lean heavily on the run game.

Indianapolis re-signed T.Y. Hilton and has 2020 second-rounder Michael Pittman Jr. coming off a promising finish to his rookie season, but the team has not been able to keep injury-prone ex-second-rounder Parris Campbell on the field. Ninth-year tight end Jack Doyle and Mo Alie-Cox combined for just 645 yards last season. The Wentz trade, assuming he stays healthy for most of this season, will cost Indianapolis a first-round pick in 2022. Bringing in his former top target at a low cost would enhance the relocated QB’s comfort level and help justify the lofty investment.

Jacksonville Jaguars

This spot differs from the rest mentioned here, with the Jaguars coming off a 1-15 season and in clear rebuild mode. But Jacksonville drafted Trevor Lawrence and has no proven tight end to pair with him. The team leads the NFL in cap space ($38MM) as well.

Exiting draft weekend, Urban Meyer expressed concern about his team’s tight end depth chart. The Jags drafted Ohio State’s Luke Farrell in Round 5 and did go on to sign Tim Tebow. While this would seemingly not be a desirable spot for Ertz as a free agent, the Jags could make sense as an unorthodox trade destination.

Tennessee Titans

Ertz trade compensation would not approach what the Titans paid for Julio Jones, and even after acquiring the all-time Falcons great, the team was on the lookout for tight end assistance. The Titans lost Jonnu Smith and did not add a notable replacement. The Jones trade shows the Titans are committed to contending this season, even after losing Smith and Corey Davis. Even after a disappointing 2020 season, Ertz would provide a substantial upgrade over Anthony Firkser.

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Bills Worried About Tight End Depth?

The Bills may be seeking some reinforcement at tight end. Josina Anderson tweets that “apprehensions with production [and] consistency at the Bills tight end spot are still a topic of conversation” within the organization.

With all due respect to the team’s tight ends, this assessment makes plenty of sense. Josh Allen threw for 4,544 yards and 37 touchdowns last season, but the group of tight ends barely cracked 400 receiving yards. 2019 third-rounder Dawson Knox will continue to lead the depth chart, and the 24-year-old has averaged only 25 yards per game through his first two years in the NFL (27 games).

The Bills did bring in veteran Jacob Hollister this offseason, but the veteran isn’t known for his pass-catching prowess. The organization also added undrafted free agent Quintin Morris, pairing the additions with holdovers like Tommy Sweeney and Nate Becker. Considering the lack of inspiring options, Anderson notes that the situation is “something to keep an eye on,” especially considering the availability of Eagles tight end Zach Ertz. If Buffalo ends up pulling off that kind of deal, it sounds like the current grouping of tight ends would be ready for the extra reinforcement.

“How I look at that stuff is whoever they bring in, that’s just great competition for the room,” Knox said (via Sal Maiorana of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle). “I love that Jacob’s (Hollister) here now, he’s a great dude. No matter who they bring in, whether it’s a rookie or an All-Pro like Zach, I think it’ll be great just to elevate the competition. Iron sharpens iron and that’s a big philosophy that I have.”

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Zach Ertz Won’t Report For Eagles Offseason

The last update we had on Zach Ertz was a couple of weeks ago, when it looked like things might be headed in the right direction between him and the Eagles. That apparently wasn’t the case.

Philadelphia passed on adding a tight end in the draft, and the chances were starting to look better that he’d stay with the Eagles for 2021. However, Ertz was not among the players who showed up for the start of Phase 2 of Philly’s offseason program, a source told Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link).

Further, McLane writes that Ertz “isn’t expected to report for the remainder of the offseason program or until his situation is resolved,” which he says means either being “traded or released.” Ertz was given permission to seek a trade about two months ago, but nothing has materialized.

Although there has reportedly been some interest, no one has been willing to meet GM Howie Roseman’s apparent asking price of a third or fourth-round pick. We’re now in the middle of a stalemate. Ertz, who will turn 31 in November and is coming off a down year, is entering the final year of his contract.

2020 was a big disappointment, but he made three straight Pro Bowls from 2017-19 and has consistently been one of the league’s better tight ends for a while now. We should have another update on him soon, and as of right now it appears unlikely he’ll be catching passes from Jalen Hurts this season.

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Latest On Eagles’ TE Zach Ertz

The Eagles did not select a tight end in last week’s draft, and even though they gave TE Zach Ertz permission to seek a trade in March, no one has been willing to meet their asking price as of yet. So Ertz and Dallas Goedert remain atop Philadelphia’s tight end depth chart.

Does that mean that Ertz will play out the last season of his current contract with the team that made him a second-round pick in 2013? Not necessarily, but as Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk suggests, it looks like a much stronger possibility than it did two months ago.

In speaking about the situation during a press conference last weekend, GM Howie Roseman called Ertz a “guy still in his prime.” He added, “we think Zach’s a good player, a good person and he’s under contract.”

Although Ertz, 30, is coming off his worst season in the NFL — a season in which he missed five games due to an ankle injury — he earned Pro Bowl nods in each of the previous three years. At his best, he is one of the top tight ends in the game, and his $8.5MM salary for 2021 is not prohibitive for a player of his talents. Given that, and given that the Eagles were seeking just a third- or fourth-round pick in a trade, it’s a little surprising that Roseman hasn’t been able to find any takers.

Perhaps that will change as teams reevaluate their rosters after the draft, or perhaps Roseman will hang onto Ertz. After all, the team is set to start second-year pro Jalen Hurts at quarterback — the alleged “open competition” notwithstanding — and it would make sense to surround him with as much skill position talent as possible.

Roseman’s comments, though, hardly preclude a trade. If a deal comes together after June 1, the Eagles will save about $4MM of cap space when factoring in the dead money they would also absorb. They would also carry $1.74MM in dead money in each of the 2022 and 2023 seasons, which are void years tacked onto the end of Ertz’s deal.

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Eagles GM On Zach Ertz Trade Talks

It’s no secret: The Eagles and Zach Ertz could be headed for a divorce. Still, GM Howie Roseman says that he’ll need the right offer in order to part ways with the star tight end.

For us to trade any player, it’s gotta make sense for both sides,” Roseman said (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo). “None of us had the year we wanted to have last year, but that doesn’t define us. We know who he is on and off the field and we value that.”

The Eagles have granted Ertz permission to seek trades and several teams have spoken with the Birds in recent days. Roseman is reportedly looking for a seeking a third or fourth-round pick — so far, they haven’t gotten any takers.

Ertz, 30, has one year left on his contract with an $8.25MM salary and $12.4MM cap hit. Trading or cutting him would save $5MM with $8MM in dead money. The Eagles don’t have a ton of leverage: Ertz is coming off his worst season as a pro and their dirty laundry has been aired out for all to read. Therefore, contenders are willing to stay patient with the chance of landing the 2019 Pro Bowler — without giving up any draft picks.

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Eagles Give Permission To Zach Ertz To Seek Trade

The Zach Ertz / Eagles saga appears to be nearing an end. Philadelphia has given the veteran tight end permission to seek his own trade, a source told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link).

Rapsheet notes that “several teams have been engaged.” The two sides have been headed for divorce for quite some time now, and things have been ramping up lately. A little over a week ago we heard that a trade could come soon, and it was reported over the weekend that the Eagles were seeking a third or fourth-round pick for Ertz.

So far nobody has been willing to meet that asking price since Ertz is now 30 and coming off a down year. Meanwhile, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reports that Ertz isn’t looking for a new contract as part of a trade and is willing to play out the final year of his deal, which should make things a bit easier (Twitter video link).

From Philly’s perspective they’ve got Dallas Goedert waiting in the wings, which makes Ertz expendable. He clashed with management this past year, and even got into a heated argument with GM Howie Roseman at one point over his contract.

Ertz has one more season left on his current deal with an $8.25MM salary and $12.4MM cap hit. Trading or cutting him would save the Eagles almost $5MM in cap space, but also leave almost $8MM in dead money. Ertz is coming off easily his worst season as a pro, but he made the Pro Bowl in 2019 and was a first-team All-Pro in 2018.

The team reportedly considered trading him around last year’s deadline, but an ankle injury nixed those talks. Ertz has been easily one of the best tight ends in the league the past handful of years, and it’s not hard to envision him having a bounce back campaign in 2021 wherever he lands.

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Eagles Want Third Or Fourth Rounder For Zach Ertz

The Eagles want a third or fourth-round pick for Zach Ertz, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (Twitter link). Meanwhile, the Birds continue to insist that they won’t release the tight end.

Ertz wants to stay with the Eagles, despite clashing with GM Howie Roseman in the midst of extension talks. In turn, the Eagles pondered trading him before the 2020 deadline. Then, Ertz’s ankle injury brought those discussions to a halt.

Now, at the age of 30, Ertz is a year removed from his usual fine work. He finished 2020 with just 36 catches for 335 yards and one touchdown. But, in 2019, he notched 88 receptions for 916 yards and six TDs. And, in 2018, he earned All-Pro honors, cementing himself as one of the league’s very best TEs. There should be plenty of interest in Ertz, though teams know that the Eagles are in something of a bind. He’s got one year left on his current deal, counting $12.4MM against the books. Trading or cutting him would save the Eagles almost $5MM in cap space and they need all of the breathing room they can get.

For his part, Ertz is growing “increasingly impatient” as things drag on, according to Pelissero. One way or another, it sounds like there will be a resolution before the end of the week.

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