Zach Ertz Rumors: Eagles TE Not Seeking Contract Extension in Potential Trade

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 16, 2021

Philadelphia Eagles' Zach Ertz walks to the locker room after an NFL football game against the Washington Football Team, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)
Derik Hamilton/Associated Press

The Philadelphia Eagles reportedly "aren't in a rush" in trade talks for star tight end Zach Ertz in an effort to get better draft compensation than they're currently being offered, according to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network. 

As for Ertz, the veteran is reportedly willing to play out the last year of his deal rather than immediately seeking a contract extension with a new team:

Mike Garafolo @MikeGarafolo

From Free Agent Frenzy on @nflnetwork: The #Eagles are taking their time with TE Zach Ertz, as they wait for higher trade compensation. Also, Ertz isn't looking for a new contract as part of a deal. Willing to play out his final year. https://t.co/epC6htkhMK

Garafolo and Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network added that the Eagles are allowing Ertz to seek out a trade:

Mike Garafolo @MikeGarafolo

Still comes down to the #Eagles agreeing on trade compensation but this step means Zach Ertz's agent can massage the entire deal. Ertz wants it done. Team wants proper comp. Let's see where it goes. https://t.co/Mt6Rb0zmdC

Ertz, 30, had a down year for the Birds in 2020, catching just 36 passes for 335 yards and a touchdown in 11 games. It was the first year since 2014 he posted fewer than 70 receptions, and the first time since his rookie campaign in 2013 that he had less than 700 receiving yards. 

The three-time Pro Bowler's down year was a combination of injury issues and a poor showing from former Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, as the 4-11-1 Birds missed the postseason for the first time since 2016. 

With the Eagles attempting to clear cap space as they rebuild around Jalen Hurts and a promising young tight end in Dallas Goedert (46 catches for 524 yards and three scores last year) already on the roster, Ertz is expendable. Adding more draft compensation, and in turn more young talent on both sides of the ball, makes sense for Philly. 

Still, Ertz has been a popular player during his tenure in Philly and one of the team's most consistent weapons. His departure will sting, even if the divorce feels inevitable at this point. Even Ertz acknowledged his uncertain future at the end of the season. 

"I don't know. I want to be here, even if for some reason something were to happen, maybe I come back at the end," he told reporters in January. "I don't know what's going to happen next year."