Stop us if you've heard this one before: the Eagles have two starting-caliber tight ends, and they're thinking about trading one before this year's deadline.
Sound familiar? As in, didn't we just do this last season?
ESPN NFL insider Jeremy Fowler dropped a column full of NFL nuggets on Tuesday morning, including one about the Eagles and Zach Ertz, who Folwer says could once again be a trade deadline name buzzing around numerous front offices:
"You can’t ever sleep on the Philadelphia Eagles potentially unloading a player or two at the deadline. Sources say tight end Zach Ertz thought he was getting traded at least twice in the offseason before things calmed down.
"Ertz’s name could resurface, though he’s probably not willing to take a pay cut at this point. He is playing well in a contract year, with 14 catches for 160 yards and a touchdown. As for where Ertz could go, league execs have long pegged Buffalo and Indianapolis as potential landing spots."
Here we go again!
Ertz's long and storied career in Philadelphia included a Super Bowl-sealing touchdown, two Pro Bowl selections, and a lifetime of goodwill with the fan base.
But if the Eagles want to keep Dallas Goedert happy with a potential extension around the corner, they should probably deal Ertz at the deadline and make it clear to Goedert that he's their guy rather than splitting time between the two.
Nick Sirianni's reluctance to play much 12 personnel this year has led to Goedert, a budding star tight end handicapped by his own organization, playing 68.3% of the Eagles' snaps through five weeks, while Ertz has played 56.4%.
A guy like Mark Andrews in Baltimore or T.J. Hockenson in Detroit is probably what Goedert should be shooting for, in terms of involvement in the offense. Andrews has played 74.7% of the Ravens' snaps through five weeks; Hockenson has played 84.6% of the Lions' snaps through five weeks.
If the Eagles can get any sort of trade capital in exchange for Ertz, who turns 31 next month and whose contract is up after this season, they should absolutely pull the trigger.
It'll be a bummer to say goodbye to Ertz, but this is a business, and the Eagles need to add as many valuable assets as possible in the immediate future in order to start building back towards consistent playoff appearances.
I'm not sure the Bills make a ton of sense for Ertz, considering Dawson Knox is playing out of his mind in Buffalo right now. The Colts could be a fit, both because Ertz has a good relationship with Carson Wentz and Frank Reich, and because neither Jack Doyle nor Mo Alie-Cox are particularly good.
Long story short: if the opportunity arises, Howie Roseman needs to make it happen.
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