Why not include Zach Ertz to sweeten a Carson Wentz trade?


Carson Wentz is on the block. This much we know.

We can also surmise that the market for Wentz isn’t, shall we say, robust. Right now, the Bears and the Colts are the only teams that are showing up in reports as genuine suitors for his Wentz’s services. And this is in an offseason where at least a dozen teams are looking to upgrade at the quarterback spot.

Howie Roseman wants to get as much as he possibly can in return, but at the same time, he knows that he is trying to sell a distressed asset. Despite four strong NFL seasons, including one where he was on the MVP short list before blowing out his knee, Wentz doesn’t exactly have them lined up around the block to throw draft picks at the Eagles. The recency bias is seriously in play here.

Roseman has spent quite a bit on Wentz, from the draft picks sent away to acquire him, to the millions paid to keep him. And now, he’s in serious danger of getting 15-to-25 cents on the dollar for him.

So what’s a guy to do, if he wants to maximize his return?

You sweeten the deal. You include Wentz’s sidekick. You include Zach Ertz.

Like Wentz, Ertz has already resigned himself to the fact he’s not returning to the Eagles for the 2021 season. You remember his press conference after the season finale.

Ertz had been pressing management for a contract extension for more than a year without any luck. Trading (or cutting) him will save the Eagles about $4.7 million. 

The 3-time Pro Bowler will be 31 in November, but it wasn’t that long ago that Wentz and Ertz were among the most prolific tandems in the NFL. Before an injury-plagued 2020 season, Ertz’s career had a Hall of Fame trajectory.

Here are Ertz’s numbers and rank among NFL tight ends since entering the NFL in 2013:

•    Receptions: 561 (2nd)

•    Receiving Yds: 6,078 (2nd)

•    TD: 36 (T-4th)

Ertz is set to make $8.25M in 2021, which doesn't help a lot, especially considering the salary cap will be going down for next season. But there was notable interest in Ertz on the trade market approaching the 2020 trade deadline before Ertz was placed on IR with a high ankle sprain.

If a team wants Wentz to find his old form, one way of helping him get there is to include his favorite target and his best friend from his former team.

In the 58 games they’ve played together, Wentz threw 209 more passes to Zach Ertz than to any other pass target.

Ertz has often been Wentz’s first read – and sometimes, his only read – at the top of his dropback. He’s Carson’s security blanket.

Roseman certainly doesn’t owe Wentz anything, as far as sending him to a preferred team. Wentz has been paid handsomely for what he has given the franchise. But packaging Ertz with his best pal would be a nice tip of the cap on the way out.

And it might just close the deal.

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