Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz is a 3-time Pro Bowler, Super Bowl champ, and husband to a gold medalist soccer player. Those are some pretty solid accomplishments. Mr. Julie Ertz is just two years removed from a Pro Bowl season in which he caught 88 passes for 916 yards and six touchdowns. However, Ertz’s 2020 season left a lot to be desired. He missed almost a third of the season due to injury, and even when healthy, caught just 3.3 passes per game and recorded just 9.3 yards per reception — the lowest mark of his career. So, when the Philadelphia Eagles announced their star tight end would be available for a trade this offseason, teams and fans were reasonably wary of trading for a potentially washed-up player.
But how much is Ertz worth exactly? Surely a player as talented, and with as long a resume, as Ertz deserves at least a second-round draft pick, right? Hahahahaha...no. not even the Philadelphia Eagles are asking for that.
The month of May has come and gone, and with it, NFL teams have a little more leeway when it comes to their cap space. In 2021, Ertz’s cap hit will be upwards of $12.7 million. So, it would take a lot of convincing for any team to want to take on that contract, let alone give up some draft capital to get him. Not to mention, with the emergence of Dallas Goedert, the Eagles are somewhat likely to just cut Ertz before the start of the season. Why would anyone give up anything for someone they could get for free in just a few short days?
All that being said, Ertz might still have some greatness left in him. Thirty-one is not prehistoric for NFL players nowadays. Randy Moss was in his 30s when he was traded to the Patriots and proceeded to put together some of the greatest receiving seasons of all time. Julio Jones is currently a hot topic on the NFL trade block — he’s 32. Travis Kelce just put up the second-most receiving yards in the league last year at 31. It’s not impossible to think that Ertz could still have a few solid seasons left in him.
Tight end has become a much more vital part of an NFL team’s passing attack over the last decade. In just the last 10 seasons, the NFL record for receiving yards by a tight end in a season has been broken five times. In fact, there hasn’t been a Super Bowl-winning team without a Pro Bowl tight end since the 2014 Seattle Seahawks.
Currently, rumors circulating Julio Jones indicate that the Atlanta Falcons will receive a second-round draft pick and a little more in exchange for their All-Pro receiver. I’m not here to tell you that Ertz is worth just as much as Julio, but a 3rd or 4th for him doesn’t seem too unreasonable. If the Eagles can restructure his contract, several teams are more likely to line up at the Eagles’ door. Right now though, I’d be shocked if anyone would be willing to take a risk on him.