Eagles news: Zach Ertz, Arizona Cardinals could be headed toward divorce court

Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles
Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

In Oakland and Los Angeles, they used to say 'Once a Raider, always a Raider'. We don't know if they still do that in Las Vegas, but that isn't the point. Here's what is. We can probably take that phrase and give it a midnight green spin because anyone that's a member of the Philadelphia Eagles and works their way into the hearts of the fans and the citizens of the City of Brotherly Love is also set for life.

Brian Dawkins is an icon. Jason Kelce probably won't have to pay for a meal or a beer again once his playing days are over. There's also Zach Ertz. Long ago, he worked his way into becoming a franchise legend, and there might be a slight chance that he can return to Philly again. Don't hold your breath.

Eagles news: Don't be shocked if a franchise legend, Zach Ertz, and the Cardinals part ways.

Perhaps you have heard? DeAndre Hopkins was released by the Arizona Cardinals (and AZ has to eat $22 million as a result). He may not be the last to leave though.

Budda Baker seemingly wants out. He represents a $16.87 million cap hit. Isaiah Simmons has been mentioned as someone who could be moved as well. Then, there's our buddy. That's right, Mr. Ertz.

Zach represents an $11.61 million cap hit in 2023. That's the fifth-highest number on the roster... And, this is AFTER Hopkins' release.

There's a high chance that he's on Arizona's roster in 2023. Remember, he and new Cards head coach Jonathan Gannon spent the first six weeks of the 2021 NFL season together in Philadelphia. CBS Sports, however, believes he's one of the better candidates to be a post-June 1 deadline release or trade. Here's the reasoning:

"The veteran has spoken favorably of new Cardinals brass and just last offseason inked a three-year extension. But Arizona is headed for a slow-burn rebuild with QB Kyler Murray on track to miss part of 2023 due to injury, and the team recently embraced its fate by outright cutting No. 1 wideout DeAndre Hopkins. It's not illogical to assume Ertz, who's going on 33 and spent the majority of his career contending with the Eagles, would request a quiet exit to suit up elsewhere. His release would also save $600K."

Cody Benjamin, CBS Sports

Every time we think of Zach Ertz, we think of him diving into the end zone to put the Birds ahead of the New England Patriots for good in Super Bowl LII. We also loved watching his magical season in 2018, one where he set pro football's record for the most receptions by a tight end in a single season (116). He was traded to the Arizona Cardinals during Week 6 of the 2021 NFL season, and just like that, Eagles fans began paying more attention to Cardinals games than normal. Still, if you're thinking of a possible reunion, don't hold your breath.

Though Zach and Dallas Goedert are friends, both admitted it was challenging to determine their role with the team with both guys on the offensive roster. Dallas also lamented that it was difficult for him to get comfortable with what the Birds were doing for fear of making a mistake. As a result, he played more tightly as he admittedly felt mistakes would lead to being taken off the field.

In Zach's absence, he has relaxed and excelled as the top man on the depth chart. Ertz was heartbroken by the notion of leaving the team he had played for from 2013 until 2021, but he landed on his feet in Arizona. The 2022 season ended with a trip to the Cards' injured reserve after ten games, but in 21 career appearances, all of which he has started, he has recorded 103 receptions for 980 yards and four TDs.

Zach's name is all over the Eagles' record books as well. He is second on the franchise's all-time receptions list with 579 snags. Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Harold Carmichael leads the way with 589. Harold's record might be safe for now though.

If released or traded by the Cards, Zach's next stop in his NFL journey probably won't lead him back to the NovaCare Complex. When he's done playing, he'll hang up the cleats and will probably be offered a one-day contract to rejoin the team and retire as a member of Philly's roster. As stated, once an Eagle, always an Eagle, but it isn't time to have that conversation yet.

Next. Important questions as OTAs continue. Important questions as OTAs continue. dark