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NFL Rumors: Eagles, Zach Ertz 'Ready for a Clean Break' Amid Carson Wentz Buzz

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistFebruary 17, 2021

Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz (86) warms up before an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Dec. 27. 2020. (AP Photo/Roger Steinman)
Roger Steinman/Associated Press

Tight end Zach Ertz's eight-year run with the Philadelphia Eagles seems likely to conclude this offseason. 

Per ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, Ertz and the Eagles "appear ready for a clean break" after failed contract negotiations prior to the start of last season and a disappointing 2020 campaign. 

The Eagles have reportedly been exploring trade opportunities for the three-time Pro Bowler. 

Per Ed Kracz of Sports Illustrated, the Indianapolis Colts and Seattle Seahawks have had trade conversations with Philadelphia about Ertz. 

The Eagles must navigate a difficult salary-cap situation this offseason. Spotrac estimates they are $41.5 million over the projected $185 million cap. 

Carson Wentz is the biggest potential trade candidate among Eagles players. Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer reported Monday on The Herd with Colin Cowherd (h/t CBS Sports' Jeff Kerr) that the Chicago Bears are the front-runners to acquire Wentz.

"I do know that there is a feeling inside the building from [general manager] Ryan Pace, the coaching staff, [head coach] Matt Nagy, John DeFilippo, their pass-game coordinator who got two of the best years out of Carson Wentz in 2016 and 2017 as his quarterback coach, they believe mechanically they can fix him," Breer said.

However, Breer noted Wentz appears to favor the Colts as a landing spot because of his relationship with head coach Frank Reich, who was Philadelphia's offensive coordinator in 2016 and 2017.

Ertz publicly addressed the "frustrating" contract negotiations he had with the Eagles last September. 

"I said all along I want be here for the long run," he told reporters. "I don't know if for sure that feeling is mutual. I'm going to play this year like it's my last year." 

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported at the time that Philadelphia's offer included a lot of backloaded money and less in guarantees than a previous proposal made in November 2019. 

Ertz is owed $8.25 million in base salary next season with a $12.47 million cap hit, per Spotrac. He also has a $7.8 million dead-cap hit.

The Eagles drafted Ertz in the second round in 2013 out of Stanford. He had at least 800 receiving yards and 74 receptions in five straight seasons from 2015 to 2019 but posted a career-low 336 yards in 11 games last year.  

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