In a not-so-distant past, the Philadelphia Eagles had an inseparable quarterback to tight end connection. Zach Ertz heroically broke the franchise single-season receptions record and fans were eager to see what he and Carson Wentz could accomplish.
The Wentz trade situation was ugly, filled with rumors, and felt like it took forever to end. The Zach Ertz situation is following suit. What started as a minor contract dispute has evolved into an inevitable divorce between the two parties. To make matters worse, the Eagles likely won’t be able to find a trade partner for the tight end.
The Philadelphia Eagles have no leverage and other teams know it.
Per Jeff McLane, Zach Ertz is not expected to report to any offseason activities for the Eagles. Teams around the NFL know that he’s holding out and this puts Philadelphia in a tricky situation.
If Ertz is dealt in a trade, a team will be forced to take on his hefty $8.5 million contract for next year. Plain and simple, the 30-year-old tight end is not worth this much money. He’s coming off of an unproductive and injury-riddled season and appears to be on the decline.
Instead of giving up assets for an overpaid and aging player, a tight-end needy team could simply wait the Eagles out. This hypothetical team knows that the Eagles will eventually be forced to release Ertz and when this occurs, they can sign him for a much more affordable price.
Zach Ertz and his contract still have an impact on the Philadelphia Eagles.
Regardless of whether the Eagles trade or release Ertz, the team will still save $8.5 million in cap space this year and will forfeit about $7 million in dead cap space over the next two years. Of course, Philadelphia would prefer to get a draft pick for Ertz, but it’s clear that no team is willing to offer much for the tight end.
At this point, it may be better for the Eagles to release Zach Ertz. Doing so would give him the ability to explore free agency and allow him to choose the right city for him and his family. For all that he’s done for the city of Philadelphia, he at least deserves this much.