How the Hunter Henry deal could help Eagles trade Zach Ertz


It’s time for Howie Roseman to pick up that phone again.

A day after the Patriots agreed to terms with Jonnu Smith, they’re now also bringing in Hunter Henry, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

This is notable for the Eagles because the Chargers are now a very logical landing spot for Zach Ertz.

Additionally, having one team take the top two tight ends in free agency can only help increase the market for Ertz. It simply means there will be more teams looking for a tight end.

And the Eagles have one up for grabs. The Eagles have been trying to trade Ertz for a while now and earlier this week it was reported by NFL Network that Ertz was becoming impatient as he waited. Perhaps this Henry move could spur some action.

According to that NFL Network report, the Eagles have been unwilling to move off their asking price of a 3rd- or 4th-round pick for the 30-year-old Ertz, which has been the holdup. Maybe they still don’t get that much back, but the free agent tight end market might be able to help.

The Chargers were obviously unwilling to outbid the Patriots to keep Henry, who gets a reported $12.5 million APY, so Ertz would be a cheaper option for them. Going into 2021, Ertz has a base salary of $8.5 million. It’s also the last year of his contract. He’s coming off the worst statistical season of his career, but if Ertz is able to bounce back and regain his from 2016-19, he’d be a bargain at that price.

If the Eagles are able to trade Ertz, they would save nearly $5 million in much-needed cap space for the 2021 season. And it’s clear that both sides would prefer to move on.

If you’re looking at what the Eagles might be able to get back from the Chargers, they have two 3rd-round picks and a pick in the fourth round. Any of those (3-78, 3-98, 4-119) could theoretically be in play in a trade for Ertz.

Perhaps the Eagles could sweeten the deal and trade Ertz in some sort of a pick-swap scenario. The Birds were awarded two 6th-round compensatory picks last week so if tossing one of them in the deal is what allows it to get done, they can make it happen.

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