Zach Ertz Rumors: 'Very Good Chance' Eagles TE Will Be Traded or Released

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVMay 7, 2021

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - DECEMBER 20: Tight end Zach Ertz #86 of the Philadelphia Eagles runs with the football after a reception against the Arizona Cardinals during the NFL game at State Farm Stadium on December 20, 2020 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Eagles 33-26. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The 2021 NFL draft came and went without the Philadelphia Eagles trading tight end Zach Ertz, but his tenure with the organization may still come to an end soon.

According to Dave Zangaro of NBC Sports Philadelphia, there "still seems to be a very good chance" that the Eagles will trade or release Ertz before the start of the 2021 season.

Ertz, 30, has spent his entire eight-year NFL career with the Eagles, and he is under contract through 2021, as the final two years on his deal automatically void, per Spotrac.

During his time in the NFL, Ertz has been among the premier tight ends with three Pro Bowl nods and five straights seasons of at least 74 receptions and 800 receiving yards from 2015-19.

For his career, the one-time Super Bowl champion has 561 catches for 6,078 yards and 36 touchdowns to his credit. Included in that was the career year he enjoyed in 2018 with 116 grabs for  1,163 yards and eight touchdowns.

Among tight ends in Eagles history, Ertz is first in receptions and second in receiving yardage and touchdowns behind only Pete Retzlaff.

Given all he has accomplished, it stands to reason that several teams would be in the market to sign Ertz if he gets released. The fact that he wasn't traded at the draft suggests teams may simply be waiting the Eagles out at this point.

There is some level of concern regarding Ertz and whether he is on the downside of his career, though, as he finished last season with just 36 receptions for 335 yards and one touchdown in 11 games, all of which were career lows.

In defense of Ertz, his poor production may have been a direct result of poor quarterback play, as the Eagles benched the struggling Carson Wentz for the last month of the season and turned to rookie second-round pick Jalen Hurts.

Ertz is only two years removed from a season in which he made 88 catches for 916 yards and six touchdowns, so there is reason to believe he has something left in the tank.

There are many NFL teams with a need at tight end who could conceivably make a run at Ertz.

The Buffalo Bills, Arizona Cardinals, New Orleans Saints, Tennessee Titans and Indianapolis Colts are among those that stand out.

All of those teams could make the playoffs in 2021, and adding a productive veteran tight end like Ertz would potentially go a long way toward making those teams even deeper and more difficult to defend.