Zach Ertz trade rumors have swirled ever since the NFL offseason began. Many expected the Pro Bowl tight end to get dealt before the start of the new league year, but nothing ever got done.
With Wentz in Indianapolis, Dallas Goedert waiting in the wings, and the Eagles in the midst of a youth movement, there’s no reason for the team to retain Ertz for the 2021 season. Above all else, trading Ertz will free up about $5 million in cap space — cap space the Eagles desperately need for the remainder of the offseason.
Cornerback, wide receiver, and linebacker all have holes that have yet to be filled during free agency. That $5 million could be used to acquire a depth piece at one of those positions, or it can go towards the team’s rookie signing pool. Either way, there’s no sense in keeping Ertz.
And that leads us to the question of the day.
Why hasn’t an Ertz trade happened yet?
The short answer is, Howie Roseman doesn’t believe he’s gotten a deal with fair compensation yet. But what does fair compensation even look like for a tight end who’s just turned 30 and coming of his the worst year of his career?
If you’re holding out for anything above a fifth round pick, that’s very wishful thinking on your part.
The fact of the matter is the Eagles have no real leverage in trade talks. Howie can say he’s fine with holding onto him all he wants, but every team knows the organization needs to shed that $5 million this offseason.
In a press conference last week, Roseman stated, “So for us to trade any player, it’s got to make sense for the Philadelphia Eagles, too, because none of us had the year that we wanted last year.” It seems like Roseman is holding out hope for solid draft compensation, but like I said, they won’t get that.
Ertz was one of the most disappointing aspects of last season, which is saying something. Obviously, “none of us had the year that we wanted last year,” but Ertz’s drop-off in production stands toe-to-toe with Wentz’s. In 11 games, Ertz totaled 36 catches for 335 yards and one touchdown, and that lone touchdown came in the first week of the season.
After Ertz’s emotional end of the year press conference, it felt like his journey in Philadelphia had come to an end. Howie has typically tried to do right by his players, especially ones who’ve had a long-lasting impact on the team. Ertz is not only one of the best Eagles of this generation, he’s going to be inducted into the Eagles Hall of Fame one day as one of the greatest to play in this city.
If he wants out, find a team who’s a suitable fit and pull the trigger. Get whatever draft capital you can and move on.