When NFL teams hold joint practices during training camp, they usually break up the monotony of camp and provide some much-needed color away from the normal storylines.
And sometimes the joint practices even give us a fun story or two that we otherwise wouldn't have heard!
That's likely the case this week at Eagles practice, where the Birds are joint practicing with the Patriots. After Monday's practice, Eagles tight end Zach Ertz introduced his wife and superstar USWNT soccer player Julie Ertz to Belichick (Belichick probably knew who she was, but formally introduced) and then Belichick and Ertz bantered for a little while on the sidelines at the NovaCare Complex. 6ABC reporter Jamie Apody saw the interaction and documented their exchange in this tweet:
First of all, for a guy who is often called a grump by basically all football fans, Belichick is sneaky funny. I have never laughed harder than I did when he left his dog at his computer on draft night during the 2020 socially distanced NFL Draft. Unreal.
And also... does this mean Belichick tried to trade for Ertz this offseason?
It wouldn't come as a complete shock, but it's nonetheless intriguing. Belichick was torched by Ertz in Super Bowl LII to the tune of seven catches for 67 yards and the game-securing touchdown, and as he was looking around to improve the Pats' woeful TE corps this offseason it sounds like he at one point talked with Howie Roseman about a possible deal.
Ertz was widely expected to be moving on from the Eagles as the 2020 season wrapped up, and in early March the Ertz trade rumors reached critical mass, just a week before Belichick wound up signing both Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith in free agency.
If Belichick is able to land Ertz, does he still go with the dual tight end look? Does he approach the draft a different way? If the Eagles are able to get solid compensation back from an Ertz deal, do they try to move up in the draft and choose someone other than DeVonta Smith? So many variables!
We know Roseman's asking price for Ertz wasn't just peanuts, but it also wasn't multiple first-round picks and two children. NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported on March 14 that the Eagles were looking for a third- or fourth-round pick in return. That Belichick would've balked at such a return makes me think he didn't want Ertz *that* badly.
Ultimately, Ertz is still unexpectedly an Eagle and the Patriots have two starting-caliber tight ends under contract for at least three years, so Ertz probably isn't headed to New England any time soon.
But it's very fun to think about the possibilities.
Subscribe to the Eagle Eye podcast: