The Arizona Cardinals released tight end Zach Ertz last week, in large part because he wanted to play for one of the teams contending for a Super Bowl. The three-time Pro Bowler is currently playing in his age-33 season, and it makes sense why he wouldn’t want to spend his twilight years on a rebuilding Cardinals team. The Cardinals, meanwhile, clearly hit a home run with Trey McBride, so it made sense for both sides to part ways. With Ertz out of town, the second-year pro can get even more playing time while further establishing his rapport with Kyler Murray.
Ertz cleared waivers and is now free to sign with any team in the league. As mentioned above, the tight end wants to play with a contender, and the feeling is apparently mutual among the league’s elite. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the following four teams have expressed interest in Zach Ertz, and the longtime NFL veteran will make his decision in the next day or two.
Two key free-agent decisions loom for two decorated players. Both former Colts’ LB Shaquille Leonard and former Cardinals TE Zach Ertz are free agents, and both are likely to have new homes in the next 48 or so hours, per sources. Leonard is considering the Cowboys and Eagles,…
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 3, 2023
Note to readers: Schefter’s above tweet exceeds 240 characters, so a portion of his report may not be visible in certain formats. The NFL insider writes that the Ravens, Bills, Eagles, and Chiefs are the four teams fighting for Zach Ertz.
REPORT: 4 Teams Fighting For Zach Ertz
Of all the teams on this list, the Baltimore Ravens feel like the best fit for Zach Ertz. Star tight end Mark Andrews is currently on the injured reserve, and there is a very good chance that he has played his last snap of the season. Former fourth-round pick Isaiah Likely has played well in Andrews’ absence, but this team needs a more experienced veteran. Ertz, a one-time Super Bowl champion, has plenty of postseason experience and knows how to handle elevated situations. Additionally, while he’s not as good as Andrews, he still has a solid set of hands and his veteran savvy means that he should be able to pick up the offense in a hurry.
Through the first 13 weeks of the season, Dalton Kincaid looks like he will have a bright future in the NFL. However, he is still a rookie, and you should never put too much faith in a first-year tight end. Outside of quarterback, tight ends probably have the hardest adjustment from college to the professional level. A proven veteran like Zach Ertz should be a welcome addition, especially considering that Dawson Knox is sidelined indefinitely.
The biggest hurdle here is Buffalo’s chances of actually making the postseason. The team is currently 6-6 and, while they are better than their record implies, it might be too late for them to make the postseason. Zach Ertz wants another ring, and he might choose to pick one of the teams that has a better chance of delivering a championship.
Kansas City Chiefs
The 2023 version of the Kansas City Chiefs features what is easily the best defense of the Patrick Mahomes Era. Unfortunately, it also features what is likely the worst offense. Travis Kelce is still a top-three tight end, but he’s not his usual dominant self, and the rest of the wide receivers are either unproven or underwhelming. The Chiefs could use another weapon in the passing game, and Zach Ertz is the best option available. He could easily be the third target behind Kelce and rookie Rashee Rice, and that might be enough to elevate Kansas City’s offense to their usual dominance.
Despite their one-sided loss to the San Francisco 49ers, the Philadelphia Eagles are still one of the best teams in the NFL, but they need someone like Zach Ertz. The team is reportedly trying to improve their defense with Shaquille Leonard, but their offense could use some help as well. Dallas Goedert is still injured, so a potential homecoming could solve Philadelphia’s tight end woes. Even when Goedert returns to the field, Ertz can slide into the background and help form one of the most lethal tight end duos in football.
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