The deadline for roster cuts has passed in the NFL and the Philadelphia Eagles still have Zach Ertz on their roster. While Ertz was never in consideration of being released, there have long been discussions about him being potentially traded throughout the offseason. With the emergence of Dallas Goedert, it still seems as if Philadelphia and Ertz are headed toward a divorce, whether it be via trade or in free agency next offseason.
Ertz remains on the Eagles in large part due to the asking price, the fact he has an expensive contract, and he’s a free agent in 2022. Not to mention, the veteran tight end has seen his performance on the field decline as he is set to turn 31 years old in November.
Even though I wouldn’t personally make a move for Ertz right now, here are three teams that should still consider pursuing a trade for the three-time Pro Bowler.
After the circus that Urban Meyer created by signing Tim Tebow — then releasing him — the Jacksonville Jaguars enter the 2021 season with Chris Manhertz as their starting tight end. Manhertz is in his sixth season in the NFL and he is coming off of a 2020 campaign where he caught a career-high six passes with the Carolina Panthers. Behind Manhertz, James O’Shaughnessy and Luke Farrell are expected to serve as the backups at the tight end position.
Given the inexperience or mediocrity at the tight end position, the Jaguars could use a tight end like Ertz in their offense. While Jacksonville has a talented receiving corps in DJ Chark, Laviska Shenault, and Marvin Jones Jr., rookie Trevor Lawrence could use a go-to tight end in the offense. Even though Ertz is a shell of his former self, he’d be an immediate upgrade over what the Jaguars currently have at the tight end position.
A trade would the Eagles could be exactly what Jacksonville needs to round out Lawrence’s weapons.
New York Jets
Another rookie quarterback that won’t have much to work with at the tight end position is Zach Wilson of the New York Jets. Amid the deadline for roster cuts, the Jets traded Chris Herndon to the Minnesota Vikings, leaving them with a group of tight ends that now includes only Tyler Kroft and Trevon Wesco. The team released Ryan Griffin and Kenny Yeboah, but they could consider bringing one of them back following the trade of Herndon.
Seeing that a tight end can be important in a Mike LaFleur offense, making an upgrade at the position isn’t out of the realm of possibility. Besides an outlier season in 2017 where he caught 42 passes, Kroft hasn’t recorded more than 12 receptions in any other season. As for Wesco, he’s corraled a grand total of three receptions in his first two seasons in the NFL. With the Jets having a decent receiving corps with Corey Davis, Elijah Moore, Jamison Crowder, and Keelan Cole, adding an experienced tight end like Zach Ertz in a trade with the Eagles could put Wilson in a better position to succeed as a rookie.
Ever since it became apparent that the Eagles could move on from Ertz, the Buffalo Bills have been labeled as an ideal landing spot. Buffalo’s offense has become one of the most efficient units in the NFL due to the improvements made by Josh Allen under center. The addition of Stefon Diggs certainly helped as the Bills have a deep receiving corps that features Diggs, Emmanuel Sanders, Gabriel Davis, and Cole Beasley.
But with Dawson Knox being the team’s starting tight end, some have hinted at the Bills being the favorites to land Ertz. Knox hasn’t been dreadful, but he has struggled with drops, and he’s been fairly inconsistent in his first two seasons in the NFL. Buffalo doesn’t utilize the tight end position as much as other teams due to Brian Daboll’s scheme.
That being said, if the Bills are going all-in on competing for a Super Bowl this season, it wouldn’t hurt to make another upgrade in the offense. Making a deal with the Eagles for Zach Ertz could be a move that puts them over the top.