Eagles: Trading Ertz for Jordan Hicks makes too much sense

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Arizona Cardinals have granted LB Jordan Hicks permission to seek a trade in the aftermath of them naming Zaven Collins—last month’s first round pick—as starting middle linebacker.

With this being the time of year for rumors to appear out of thin air (logic be damned), it didn’t take long for murmurs of Hicks returning to Philly to make there way into the public discourse. The Eagles have a minor (though certainly not glaring) need at linebacker, and given Hicks history here a reunion would make sense.

Some fans and pundits have suggested that Arizona (in a deal for Hicks) would be the ideal trade destination for Zach Ertz, whose bags have been packed for a good five months now. The rationale follows like this: Arizona already has $12.5 million in cap space, and trading Hicks post-June 1st saves an additional $2.94 million. On top of that, the Cardinals clearly believe they’re a contender—adding JJ Watt made that loud and clear—making them one of a small few destinations for Ertz.

There aren’t many teams in the NFL who a) plan to contend, b) have cap space, and c) have a need at TE. Arizona satisfies all three of those criteria and that’s why this rumor has such strong merit despite otherwise being completely baseless.

Across 32 consecutive starts with Arizona, Hicks totaled 268 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, and 4 interceptions. The key takeaway there is his ability to stay healthy; in his final two seasons with the Eagles he missed a total of 13 games, and injury problems factored heavily into the decision to trade him in the first place. 16 starts in each of the past two seasons obviously alleviate those concerns.

While these Hicks-Ertz rumors are purely just that, it’s hard to deny to logic behind them, and it’s easy to see the stars aligning for this deal to happen. Trades are somewhat of a rarity in the NFL for a number of reasons, but this feels as straightforward as they come. As much as it‘ll hurt to see Ertz go, adding a familiar face in Hicks in return would do a lot to soften the blow.

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