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Eagles Rumors: Philly 'Up to Something' with No. 12 Pick; Zach Ertz Trade Linked

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistApril 25, 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 already traded back from No. 6 to No. 12 in the first round of the 2021 NFL draft, but the team might not be done making moves.

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler explained the team's plans on SportsCenter on Sunday, including the involvement of tight end Zach Ertz:

"I'm told that [Zach Ertz]'s been waiting, bracing for a change, a trade, a release, for the better part of the last two months. It has not happened yet, but Philly sits at 12 overall. It's not an overly deep tight end class after Kyle Pitts. So if they move back, or down, or wherever they want to move in the three days of the draft, perhaps Zach Ertz could be a part of that deal. And Howie Roseman has been making a lot of calls. The GM of the Eagles has been active. A source told me that 'Philly's up to something with that 12 pick.' Maybe Ertz will be involved in that." 

Shortly after the Miami Dolphins moved back from No. 3 to No. 12 in a trade with the San Francisco 49ers, the Dolphins acquired the sixth pick from the Eagles along with a fifth-rounder, giving up the No. 12 pick, a fourth-round pick and a 2022 first-round pick.

Philadelphia is coming off a 4-11-1 season in 2020.

Roseman recently explained the team's strategy regarding the trade, per Dave Zangaro of NBC Sports:

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"Well, the reason we traded back from six to 12 was because flexibility creates opportunity. And for us, having an extra first-round pick, when you go back and look at things that are hard to acquire, that's one of the hardest things to acquire, is a team's first-round pick in the following year and to move back six spots. But what we really had to do was to sit there and go, 'Who are the 12 players in this draft that we would feel really good about?' Are there 12 players in this draft that we feel really good about?"

The could indicate further movement in the first round or beyond as the squad tries to turn things around under new coach Nick Sirianni. 

It also makes sense to move on from Ertz, meanwhile, despite his success over the past eight years in Philadelphia. After earning three straight Pro Bowl selections from 2017-19, he struggled in 2020 with just 36 receptions for 335 yards and one touchdown in 11 games.

The 30-year-old also has a $12.7 million cap hit in 2021, but the team could save $4.95 million in a draft-day trade, per Spotrac.

Another team looking for an upgrade at tight end could target Ertz rather than an unknown in the later rounds of the draft.

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