The Philadelphia Eagles are cleaning house, as multiple NFL reports expect the team to trade tight end Zach Ertz in the coming weeks. Ertz had an underwhelming, injury-plagued 2020, but was one of the best tight ends in the league prior to that. Some team is going to gamble on him returning to form in 2021, but which team will that be?
Five Trade Fits For Tight End Zach Ertz
The most obvious fit is a reunion with quarterback Carson Wentz and head coach Frank Reich. The Indianapolis Colts love tight ends, and the current trio of Trey Burton, Jack Doyle, and Mo Alie-Cox leave something to be desired. Ertz would probably be the best tight end on the roster, and the Colts have the cap space to eat Ertz’ $8.25 million cap hit. Trying to salvage Carson Wentz should be the top priority for the Colts, and there’s no better way to do that than by trading for one of his most reliable targets.
New England Patriots
The New England Patriots had perhaps the worst group of tight ends in the NFL last year. Rookies Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene struggled to adjust to life in the NFL, while Ryan Izzo simply looked like he didn’t belong in the league. There is a chance the rookies improve with more experience, but the Patriots shouldn’t bank on that possibility. The team needs to bring in an established veteran to serve as a safe upgrade, and Ertz could be the right guy for the job. Ertz would be able to give the Patriots a safe starter with the potential of one of the deepest tight end rooms in the league, if Asiasi and Keene both figure it out in Year 2.
The Buffalo Bills are all-in on taking home a championship in 2021. Josh Allen played MVP-caliber football for most of 2020, Stefon Diggs was one of the best receivers in football, and the roster is one of the deepest in the league. The only real weakness is tight end, where the Bills don’t have a proven commodity. Trading for Ertz would immediately fix this flaw, although they will have to get creative to fit him under the salary cap.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are going to have to do a lot in order to support incoming quarterback Trevor Lawrence. DJ Chark and Laviska Shenault are a fine receiving duo, but tight ends tend to be good security blankets for rookie quarterbacks. Ertz would be a great underneath option for Lawrence, and his experience in the league should be a valuable resource for a developing quarterback.
Joe Burrow loves tight ends, but he didn’t have a reliable target at the position last year. This affinity could ring especially true in 2021, as the quarterback is coming off of a season-ending knee injury and might want to get the ball out sooner than he did a season ago. Ertz could provide that much-needed reliable presence while Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins serve as the big-play threats in the offense.
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