The NFL trade deadline is Nov. 3, but plenty of teams will be trying to finalize moves this week in order to get players through COVID-19 protocols and onto rosters by Week 9.
The Eagles, often busy around the trade deadline, are on a bye in Week 9, which means they might be making - and receiving - calls up until the last hour. Will they be buyers or sellers?
Apparently at least two teams hoped they would be sellers - and big sellers.
The Ravens and the Packers both made offers to the Eagles for tight end Zach Ertz, according to a report from Eagles Maven's Ed Kracz:
"Interest in Eagles tight end Zach Ertz was percolating, and a source indicated that at least two teams, the Green Bay Packers and Baltimore Ravens, made offers right before he was placed on Injured Reserve on Oct. 22."
Kracz's report jibes with a report last week from Albert Breer at Sports Illustrated. Breer reported that teams had made "calls" about Ertz, along with Alshon Jeffery.
Now, Ertz won't be traded before the deadline because he was placed on Injured Reserve with a minor injury designation, which means the Eagles can't move him.
But this is still pretty fascinating stuff to explore, to see what it means for a possible Ertz-less future in Philly.
What to make of the Ravens and Packers being the ones to take runs at Ertz?
The Ravens are a bit surprising, on the surface. They already have a Top 5 tight end in Mark Andrews on the roster. But he's still on his rookie deal through 2021, so maybe Baltimore's thinking was, 'Let's get another great tight end option on the field, while Andrews is still affordable.' Lamar Jackson isn't a big-throw maker, averaging 7.0 yards per attempt this year, and clearly favors throwing to tight ends: Andrews is second on the team in receptions, and he and tight end Nick Boyle have seven of the Ravens' 10 receiving touchdowns this year.
For the Packers, third-year tight end Robert Tonyan is having a nice little year (18 catches, 230 yards, five touchdowns) on a wildly cheap contract, and the Packers have cap room, so a move for Ertz is a no-brainer idea. Giving a reliable quarterback like Aaron Rodgers a reliable target like Ertz would make a Packers offense that ranks first in points per drive and seventh in red zone percentage even more dangerous.
The constant here is, these are two win-now teams trying to bolster their offenses ahead of what they believe could be a Super Bowl run.
It would probably take a substantial offer for the Eagles to trade Ertz, both because of his body of work and because of his significance to the organization. He's probably the best tight end in Eagles history, and he caught the go-ahead touchdown in Super Bowl LII. He's a legend.
But time comes for us all, and I think the Eagles would be smart to move on from Ertz, with an eye towards the future, sooner rather than later.
If the Eagles decline to extend Ertz and let him enter 2021 on the final year of his deal, with Dallas Goedert waiting in the wings as his clear replacement, you can expect these same kinds of teams - those with win-now aspirations - to keep calling Howie Roseman, this offseason and during next season if Ertz is still on the team, with the same offers.