Laurence Kesterson/Associated Press
Jeremy Fowler @JFowlerESPN
As the Carson Wentz trade saga continues, some people around the league also expect the Eagles to explore options with Zach Ertz, who is bracing for a change of scenery via release or trade, per source. Perhaps Philly could include him in a Wentz trade package to maximize value
Sources tell Fowler the team could try to include Ertz in a deal with Wentz, move him separately or grant him a full release ahead of the 2021 season. Ertz, 30, is under contract through 2021 and carries a $12.5 million cap hit next year, per Spotrac.
The three-time Pro Bowler has spent his entire eight-year career in Philadelphia and helped the team capture the 2017 Super Bowl. Ertz appeared in a career-low 11 games last season after suffering a high ankle sprain in Week 6. He finished the year with just 335 yards on 36 catches with one touchdown.
Over the three prior seasons, however, Ertz put up 2,903 receiving yards and 22 touchdowns on 278 catches over 44 games. He averaged more than 10 yards per catch every year of his career until 2020. That might make the California native an attractive buy-low candidate.
It’s unclear what the market for Ertz looks like or how his inclusion in a Wentz trade could help the Eagles deal their former franchise QB.
Among the top tight ends scheduled to hit free agency in March are Hunter Henry, Rob Gronkowski, Jared Cook, Tyler Eifert, Trey Burton, Jonnu Smith and Demetrius Harris. Ertz’s past performance makes him one of the top tight ends in that group.
If nothing else, he gives Philadelphia a bit more room to operate in trade talks for Wentz.