Philadelphia Eagles debate table: Why not just keep Zach Ertz?

Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles (Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)
Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles (Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports) /

It’s funny how things change in the NFL so quickly. Heading into the 2020 NFL season, there were plenty of professional football pundits who still believed that Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz, George Kittle of the San Francisco 49ers, and Kansas City Chiefs star Travis Kelce were the top three tight ends in the game.

At the time of this story being written and published, less than ten days separate us from the start of Eagles training camp, and many of those same fans that used to be Zach Ertz’s biggest supporters can’t wait to run him out of town. Where did things go wrong?

Are we all jaded by being forced to watch so many of the Eagles’ biggest stars sit on the sideline and collect big paydays while contributing nothing to this team on the playing field? Has watching the physical deterioration of Zach Ertz over the past season convinced us that the best tight end in Eagles’ history’s best days are behind him?

Here’s a theory that isn’t being expressed enough. Why not just keep Ertz around for a year? It may not be the best idea, but are we sure that it isn’t an idea that isn’t worth exploring?

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Here are arguments for and against the Philadelphia Eagles keeping Zach Ertz around.

Part of the argument for getting rid of Zach Ertz is this. After watching Philly hold on to DeSean Jackson, Nelson Agholor, Darren Sproles, Jason Peters, and Alshon Jeffery one year too long, there’s this fear that bringing Ertz back for an additional season would only lead to disaster.

Ertz may not be the man that he once was from an athletic or physical standpoint (he always seems to go down on the first contact), but he’s still better than the majority of the tight ends that are running around the NFL. He’s actually signed through the remainder of the 2021 NFL season, as is Dallas Goedert, so a decision about him doesn’t have to be made right now.

Sure, there’s that thing hanging over the franchise about Ertz not wanting to be here and this situation being unrepairable. Still, if cooler heads can prevail, what’s so terrible about allowing Ertz one final ride with the only team he’s ever played for? Are we really complaining about Jalen Hurts having one more capable weapon?

Those are the positives about keeping Ertz around. Here’s what might be the only negative. This team needs building blocks, and if they want to move anyone to add another key piece or a draft pick or two, the best collateral Philly might have is Zach Ertz.

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The Philadelphia Eagles will never get more for Zach Ertz than they’d get by moving him right now. Waiting until the end of the coming season means he enters free agency without any restrictions, and the Birds get nothing for him. After seeing the same thing happen with guys like Alshon Jeffery, that’s the last thing anyone that follows this team wants to see.

So how do you feel? Is Zach Ertz better for this team as trade bait or as a member of the 53-man roster? The debate table is open. Either way, a decision needs to be made in the coming days.