Zach Ertz

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Multiple Teams Calling On Zach Ertz, Deal Coming Soon?

It looks like the offseason of change for the Eagles is continuing full steam ahead. “Multiple teams” have contacted Philadelphia to express interest in trading for tight end Zach Ertz, and a deal “could happen in the coming days,” sources told Mike Silver of NFL Network (Twitter link).

This isn’t exactly a shock, as we heard last month that the veteran was expecting to either be traded or released and not return to Philly in 2021. Ertz had previously said in January that he wanted to be back with the Eagles. Ertz had a very bumpy 2020 campaign that saw him get into a heated argument with GM Howie Roseman over his frustration with extension talks. Philadelphia reportedly considered trading him at the deadline, but an ankle injury he suffered around that time nixed that.

The team clearly didn’t want to pay him the top of the tight end market money he’s looking for, and in their minds they’ve got his replacement waiting in the wings in the younger Dallas Goedert. 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 30 now and 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. As such, it’s not hard to see why there’s legit trade interest in him. His struggles this past season were likely due more to the Eagles’ passing game woes as a whole than anything he was doing wrong.

In 11 games, he finished with only 36 catches for 335 yards and one touchdown. In 2019 he had 88 catches for 916 yards and six touchdowns. It sounds like we should know a lot more about where he’ll be playing next season very soon.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Zach Ertz Expecting Eagles Exit

Zach Ertz clashed with Eagles brass and endured his worst NFL season in 2020, but the Pro Bowl tight end said last month he wants to stay in Philadelphia. It appears that is unlikely.

The eight-year tight end is bracing to be traded or released in the near future, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com (on Twitter). This comes as the quarterback who has thrown the most passes to Ertz throughout his career is on course to leave Philly as well.

Carson Wentz, however, remains an Eagle. Momentum for a Wentz trade appears to have stalled, with the Eagles’ Matthew Stafford-esque asking price not being met. But, one way or another, Wentz and Ertz are on track to be elsewhere next season.

Ertz, 30, caught just 36 passes for a career-low 335 yards and one touchdown last season. The three-time Pro Bowler and NFL single-season record holder for receptions by a tight end (116 in 2018) both struggled and battled injury, missing time due to a high ankle sprain. Coming into the season, Ertz and the Eagles broke off extension talks. He and GM Howie Roseman engaged in a heated discussion at a practice, with the Eagles’ lack of interest in giving Ertz Travis Kelce– or George Kittlelevel money likely factoring into this breakdown. The Eagles have Dallas Goedert as a younger option, but he is now heading into a contract year.

The Eagles restructured Ertz’s through-2021 contract twice, most recently in 2019. As a result, they would incur $7MM-plus in dead cap charges if they released Ertz. A Wentz trade will cost Philly a record $33MM in dead money. Ertz is due an $8.25MM salary next season, should the Eagles find a taker for his contract. Only the Saints have a worse cap situation, as of Saturday, with the Eagles projected to be more than $45MM over the 2021 salary ceiling.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

This Date In Transactions History: Eagles Sign TE Zach Ertz To Extension

With Zach Ertz coming off a career year and about to enter the final year of his rookie contract, the Eagles decided to back up the Brinks truck on this date five years ago. On January 25th, 2016, Philly signed their star tight end to a five-year extension (including an option for the final year).

The 35th-overall pick in the 2013 draft built off strong rookie and sophomore years and put together a breakout campaign in 2015. Ertz established himself as quarterback Sam Bradford‘s favorite target, hauling in 75 receptions for 853 yards and two touchdowns. As a result of his continued improvement, the Eagles committed to the then-25-year-old through the 2021 season.

Ertz ended up inking a five-year, $42.5MM deal that included $20MM in guaranteed money. At the time, his new $8.5MM AAV ranked fourth in the NFL among tight ends (behind Jimmy Graham, Julius Thomas, and Rob Gronkowski; the deal still ranked seventh this season behind George Kittle, Travis Kelce, Hunter Henry, Austin Hooper, Kyle Rudolph, and Gronk in 2020). The deal officially kicked in during the 2017 season, following the completion of Ertz’s rookie contract.

“Nothing could make me happier than knowing I’m going to be a member of the Philadelphia Eagles for years to come,” Ertz wrote at the time (on his blog).

The Eagles were also happy with the extension, at least temporarily. Ertz made a Pro Bowl in each of the first three years of his extension, including a 2018 campaign where he set the record for most receptions by a tight end in a single season (116, which went along with career-highs in receiving yards (1,163) and touchdowns (eight, tie)).

Following another Pro Bowl appearance in 2019, the Eagles predictably picked up Ertz’s option for the 2021 campaign, and it was assumed that the two sides would work on an extension throughout the 2020 campaign. However, following months of inaction, Philly’s extension offer came in lower than expected, putting an “abrupt halt” to the negotiations.

Things went a bit downhill after that; Ertz expressed doubt that the Eagles wanted to keep him long-term, and the tight end reportedly engaged in a shouting match with general manager Howie Roseman following a September practice. To add insult to injury (pun wasn’t really intended), Ertz landed on IR in late October. In total, Ertz finished the 2020 campaign having hauled in 36 receptions for 335 yards and one touchdown, all career-lows. At the end of the season, the veteran indicated that he’d still be open to sticking around Philly.

Ertz’s extension, signed five years ago, is looking like it won’t have the desired ending that both sides had hoped for back in 2016. Still, considering Ertz’s production between 2017-2019 and his continued standing as one of the NFL’s highest-paid tight ends, you could easily say the deal worked out for both sides.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Zach Ertz Wants To Stay With Eagles

Zach Ertz has been with the Eagles since 2013, and he doesn’t want things to end. In an emotional press conference with reporters, the tight end expressed his desire to stay in Philly for 2021 and beyond.

I want to be here, even if for some reason something were to happen, maybe I come back at the end,” Ertz said (Twitter link via NFL.com’s James Palmer). “I don’t know what’s going to happen next year. I think this city is the best city to play for…and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. This city means a lot to me and a lot to my family. And I’m thankful.”

Ertz has notched 561 catches for 6.078 yards and 36 touchdowns, all with the Eagles. The Birds would ideally like to bring him back, but their salary cap situation will make it tough to navigate. Ertz is tremendously talented, but he’s also pricey with one year to go on his five-year, $42.5MM deal. Instead of bringing him back, the Eagles could deal Ertz to restock their draft capital and clear dollars off of the books.

Injuries hampered Ertz throughout 2020, capping his 11-game season at just 36 grabs for 335 yards and one score. Still, he’d draw plenty of interest from other teams if he’s put on the block. Before the injury, Ertz was in line for a top-of-the-market extension to join the likes of George Kittle and Travis Kelce ($15MM and $14.3MM AAV, respectively). Now, he’s an intriguing one-year rental.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles Activate G Isaac Seumalo From IR

The Eagles may be back up to four starting offensive linemen available in Week 11. They activated guard Isaac Seumalo off IR Friday.

Seumalo will play against the Browns, per the team, after practicing without limitations Friday. The fifth-year guard has been out since Week 2 due to a knee injury.

A regular starter since October 2018, Seumalo is in his first year of the contract extension he agreed to in 2019. The Eagles have four of their five starters on long-term contracts but have seen injuries sideline most of them this season. At one point, Jason Kelce resided as the only healthy Eagles O-line starter. But with Seumalo back and Lane Johnson getting in a limited practice this week, the Eagles should have four of their first-stringers blocking for Carson Wentz and Co.

While Philadelphia has struggled nearly as much as the other three NFC East teams — who each have seven losses — the team remains in first place at 3-5-1. The Eagles are healthier going into Week 11 than they have been all season. Zach Ertz, however, is unlikely to make his return this week, according to Doug Pederson.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC East Notes: Ertz, Giants, Cowboys

Zach Ertz‘s high ankle sprain may well have prevented a big trade. Prior to Ertz’s injury, the Eagles were willing to part with the eighth-year tight end before the Nov. 3 deadline, multiple NFL executives informed ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler (video link). The Eagles view Dallas Goedert as a long-term cornerstone, a position Ertz previously held in Philly, and the older of the team’s two prominent tight ends became embroiled in a contract dispute with the team during camp. Ertz sought a deal in the George KittleTravis Kelce neighborhood ($14MM-plus per year) and openly questioned whether the Eagles wanted him around. Ertz’s current contract — a four-year, $42MM pact — expires after the 2021 season. He will be on IR beyond the trade deadline.

Here is the latest from the NFC East:

  • Although Joe Judge was interestingly noncommittal about Andrew Thomas‘ status earlier this week, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that the No. 4 overall pick is in good standing with the Giants and will start at left tackle Thursday night. The Giants used third-round rookie Matt Peart as their left tackle starter against Washington, making the change because Thomas violated a team rule. Thomas played just 22 snaps in Big Blue’s win. Through six games, Pro Football Focus slots Thomas 61st among tackles — behind three tackles that were taken after him in this year’s first round.
  • The Eagles will continue to incorporate Jalen Hurts into their offense. Doug Pederson said this week using Hurts in a Wildcat-type capacity is something the Eagles are “definitely going to continue to explore each week,” via Eliot Shorr-Parks of 94 WIP. The second-round rookie has played 19 snaps this season, including a career-high seven last week. Hurts has completed one pass but is averaging 7.0 yards per carry on seven attempts.
  • It is quite possible the Washington Football Team‘s mascot-less existence will continue into 2021. “There’s a pretty good chance we will be the Washington Football Team next season,” team president Jason Wright said (via John Keim of ESPN.com). The franchise made the change in mid-July.
  • Key defensive personnel could return for the Cowboys this week. Sean Lee and Chidobe Awuzie returned to practice and could be activated ahead of Saturday’s deadline. Both players went on IR after Week 1. Lee’s return from a sports hernia issue would follow Leighton Vander Esch into Dallas’ lineup, giving the embattled defense its full set of first-string linebackers. Awuzie is attempting to come back from a hamstring malady.
  • The Giants worked out a familiar player Thursday. They brought former first-round pick Corey Coleman back for an audition/checkup. The Giants re-signed Coleman in March but cut him ahead of the regular season. Coleman tore an ACL during the team’s 2019 training camp and has not played since.

Eagles Place Zach Ertz On IR

Zach Ertz‘s disappointing season will pause for at least three weeks. The Eagles placed their Pro Bowl tight end on IR Thursday, taking another weapon away from Carson Wentz.

The eighth-year target suffered a high ankle sprain against the Ravens. Philadelphia’s bye falls in Week 9, so Ertz will not be able to return until Week 11. By the time he comes back, the Eagles should have more firepower on offense.

Ertz resided as the lone high-profile pass catcher for Wentz, after the Eagles lost DeSean Jackson, Jalen Reagor and Dallas Goedert earlier this season. Alshon Jeffery has yet to make his 2020 debut and is now dealing with a calf injury in addition to his foot problem. Ertz, however, has not played well. He has turned 45 targets into 24 catches for 178 yards. The soon-to-be 30-year-old tight end was riding a streak of five straight seasons with 800-plus yards. That will almost certainly end in 2020, which is not a good sign for Ertz’s contract aspirations.

The Eagles and Ertz broke off contract talks late this summer, with the veteran and GM Howie Roseman engaging in a shouting match after an early-September practice. Ertz was aiming for an extension on the level of the deals George Kittle and Travis Kelce landed ($15MM and $14.3MM AAV, respectively). His performance and Week 6 injury will interfere with those hopes. Ertz signed a five-year, $42.5MM Eagles extension in January 2016. He is under contract through 2021.

Wentz will have Jackson back Thursday but will be without Ertz, Goedert, Jeffery and Reagor. Goedert is not expected to return until after Philly’s Week 9 bye, per Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). That matches Reagor’s timeline in another injury-plagued Eagles season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.